It sounded improbable that a New York City congressional district where Democrats have a 3-1 registration edge and have held office for nearly a century could even come close to electing a Republican to the US House.
But voter frustration over the sour economy and President Barack Obamas policies made the improbable a reality,as a Republican political novice,Bob Turner,scored an upset victory in a special election Tuesday over David Weprin,a Democratic assemblyman from a prominent local political family.
The surprising results in the Brooklyn and Queens-area district portend a perilous national environment for Obama as he prepares to seek re-election next year.
Turner said as much when he stepped before cameras to claim victory Tuesday night. This message will resound for a full year. It will resound into 2012, said Turner,a retired broadcasting executive. I only hope our voices are heard,and we can start putting things right again.
With Turners win,Republicans now hold 242 seats in the House to 192 for Democrats. There is one vacancy.
Also Tuesday,Republican Mark Amodei won a landslide victory in a US House special election in Nevada,an important presidential swing state.
The House seat opened up when Rep Anthony Weiner resigned after sending sexually provocative tweets and text messages to women he met online.