Last night, in a special vote to replace the seat left vacant by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D), the Ninth Congressional District of New York elected Bob Turner, a Republican.
Anyone who thinks this bodes badly for Obama in 2012 in engaging in wishful thinking. While it is true that the New York Ninth District typically leans Democratic, it should be known that all the districts in New York City lean Democratic, and the Ninth District is the least Democratic-leaning.
The Ninth District encompasses south Brooklyn and south centreal Queens. Anyone even remotely familiar with the area will recognize that those neighborhoods are overwheming Orthodox Jews, who have a mere 13% approval rating for Obama. (It should come as no surprise that Orthodox Jews aren't big fans of the schwartzas, you know?)
But the rest of the country doesn't vote like the Orthodox Jews of Queens and Brooklyn, which is why it is simply laughable to suggest that this spells bad news for Obama (not to mention the fact that the election is, in the political timespan, light years away).
Poll after poll shows Obama beating any of the GOP leading candidates by as much as 11 points. And he's not even out there campaigning yet. GOP pundits know this, which is why the dishonest GOP pundits are going to try to make the NY 9th win bigger than it actually is.
On the other hand, it remains true that… as long as the economy stays bad — or get worse — that spells bad news for Obama, generally speaking. But these elections in and of themselves don't speak to the economic outlook a year from now.