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September 14, 2011

Non-Partisan Polling: NY-9 about Many Things, But Not Israel

Listed in: Other Domestic Policy, NJDC News, Opinions

Originally Published in Politico’s Arena

By David A. Harris, President and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council

Since the very day seven-term House Democrat Anthony Weiner resigned in disgrace, keeping this seat in Democratic hands has been an uphill battle. The overwhelmingly unfavorable view of Mr. Weiner - a view held right up until today - has only hurt David Weprin’s efforts to win this election. Tonight, we saw some of the effects of that unpopularity.

One thing we know beyond the shadow of a doubt is that this election was about many things, but not Israel. As authoritative polling in the past four days demonstrated (see the Siena Poll, 9/9/11), only a tiny fraction of constituents - seven percent - indicated that Middle East policy would drive their vote. Moreover, the two candidates agreed completely on Israel; both clearly supported a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, with not a bit of difference between them.

In the end, in this difficult economy, Americans are hurting. And the same is true in New York’s Ninth District. After many amazing Democratic upset victories in special congressional elections, tonight we unfortunately have a loss. But we look forward to many, many more victories than losses in 2012.