Turner will win by a slightly larger margin than in current returns. This is a big reversal from the 2008 general election, when the 9th district voted 55%-44% for Barack Obama over John McCain.
This is a peculiarly shaped district, with the Brooklyn and Queens portions connected by little more than a strip of shoreline and several island in Jamaica Bay. Many have written that the district has not been carried by a Republican since 1920. This needs a little qualification. The Brooklyn portion of the district is the descendant of districts held by Democrats Emanuel Celler (who won from 1922 to 1970), Elizabeth Holtzman (winner from 1972, when she upset Celler in the primary, to 1978), Charles Schumer (winner from 1980 to 1996) and Anthony Weiner (winner from 1998 to 2010). Celler’s districts tended to run in a narrow corridor from Crown Heights and Brownsville, full of non-affluent Jewish immigrants from the 1910s to the early 1960s) down along Flatbush Boulevard and/or Ocean Parkway to Jamaica Bay. Now the district includes only part of that area. Essentially it includes heavily white (or Asian) neighborhoods not included in the black-majority 10th and 11th districts.
This result is a rebuke to Barack Obama, but it is a rebuke as well—a stinging one, perhaps more stinging—to Senator Charles Schumer. He represented much of this district for 18 years and the now disgraced Anthony Weiner was his staffer and pretty obviously Schumer’s chosen successor as congressman when he ran successfully for the Senate in 1998. In addition, Schumer has made it his special project to win back white middle class voters in places like metro New York for the Democratic party. In January 2007, just in time for the new Democratic majority in Congress, he published a book, Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time. It is a thoughtful essay on how Democrats can win the votes of the kind of voter Schumer himself has won over in his career as a congressman and senator, with specific policy recommendations as well as public relations advice. As one of the three Democratic leaders of the Democratic majority in the Senate—and by common consent the one who outshines in intellect the other two put together—Schumer has played an important role in fashioning Democratic policies, including but not limited to the 2009 stimulus package and Obamacare.