For the first time in nine decades, voters in New York's 9th Congressional District went Republican in a special House election for the seat vacated by Anthony Weiner, who resigned after a Twitter sex scandal.
Republican Bob Turner, a retired media executive, defeated Democratic state Assemblyman David Weprin in an election that became a referendum on President Barack Obama, reports the Associated Press.
With more than 80 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday, Turner had 54 percent of the vote to Weprin's 46 percent in unofficial results, stated the report.
We've been asked by the people of this district to send a message to Washington, Turner said. I hope they hear it loud and clear. We've been told this is a referendum. Mr. President, we are on the wrong track. We have had it with an irresponsible fiscal policy which endangers the entire economy.
Turner's victory dealt a crushing blow to the Democrats, who outnumber Republicans 3-1 in the district, which includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens. The area last sent a Republican to the House in 1920.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, The New York race was the most recent and consequential reminder of how Democrats' political fortunes have plummeted since spring.
There has been growing disenchantment with the nation's faltering economy and Obama's job approval ratings have been on a downward spiral, following the acrimonious debt-ceiling talks.
Republicans also won a special election in Nevada on Tuesday which has boosted the Republican majority over Democrats in the House to 242-192, reports Reuters.
Weprin refused to admit defeat.
This is not over yet; this is going to be a long night, he said. Hopefully we can still pull this out.
Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, issued a statement downplaying Turner's victory, added the Reuters report.
The results ... are not reflective of what will happen in November 2012 when Democratic challengers run against Republican incumbents who voted to end Medicare and cut Social Security while protecting tax loopholes for big corporations and the ultra wealthy, he said.