Pro-Life Republican Could Pull Off Upset in New York Race

State   |   Andrew Bair   |   Sep 9, 2011   |   11:39AM   |   New York, NY

Republicans are poised to pull off a major upset in Tuesday’s special election in New York to fill the vacant seat left by disgraced pro-abortion Rep. Anthony Weiner (D). According to a Siena Research Poll released Friday, pro-life Republican Bob Turner holds a 6-point lead over pro-abortion Democrat David Weprin. Turner has even won the endorsements of prominent New York City Democrats including former mayor Ed Koch and Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

With Weprin’s campaign in jeopardy in a reliably blue district, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has begun to panic. Straight from the Democratic playbook, The DCCC released a TV ad attacking Turner on Social Security and Medicare. However, the ad showed a plane flying over the Manhattan skyline, airing just days before the tenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. After universal outrage, the DCCC was forced to pull the ad and re-edit the scene, removing the skyline.

This has not been the first major embarrassment for the Weprin campaign. Weprin dodged a recent debate conveniently citing concerns over Hurricane Irene. However, at the time, the storm had already passed. In an even weirder turn of events, the Weprin campaign hired a Queens magician named Wendy Wizard to publicly endorse Bob Turner outside a fundraising event. The campaign even issued a press release touting quotes from the magician.

Weprin has had a difficult time balancing his support for President Obama and the low approval ratings for the President even in the liberal Queens district. With a major component of the election a referendum on the direction of the country under President Obama, Weprin has been cautious in voicing support for Obama’s reelection, saying “I will probably not refuse to endorse him because I think I will be more effective by supporting him but at the same time, being very strongly against him on some of his policies.”

Weprin has vowed to make shoring up federal funding for Planned Parenthood a top priority if elected to Congress. Weprin joined State Assembly and Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Speaker Boehner opposing any cuts to Planned Parenthood’s funding.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) in endorsing Weprin emphasized, “There are two candidates in this race: one who wants to scale back a women’s right to choose at a time when women did not have full access to reproductive choices in this county. Then there’s another candidate, David Weprin, who always stood firm 100 percent, behind a woman’s right to choose.”

NARAL Pro-Choice New York also issued a glowing endorsement of Weprin. The group noted Weprin’s past support for a bill to restrict the free speech of pro-life protesters and sidewalk counselors. Weprin, a member of the Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus, also impressed NARAL with his support for the Reproductive Health Act, which would guarantee legalized abortion-on-demand in New York if Roe vs. Wade were to be overturned.

Unlike Weprin, Bob Turner is pro-life and supports repeal of the pro-abortion Obama healthcare law. A Turner victory on Tuesday will surely send shockwaves through Washington. Just as Scott Brown’s underdog victory in last January’s Massachusetts Senate race built momentum for Republicans heading into November’s successful midterm elections, a Turner victory could begin a domino effect against Democrats nationwide heading into 2012.