Democrats Dismiss Loss in NY-9: Not a Bellwether District

Democratic National Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Sen. Chuck Schumer, who once represented New York’s ninth congressional district, dismissed a Republican victory there Tuesday as a meaningless indicator for the coming presidential election.

“If you’re looking for predictions about results in 2012, you should really be looking at the president’s standing against the Republican candidates in battleground states, not the results of two House special elections,” Wasserman Schultz told reporters on a conference call.

Schumer said, “I’ve never heard the ninth CD referred to as a bellwether. It is among the most conservative districts in New York City and changing rapidly demographically as it has over the years.

“It’s become very different in terms of the Jewish population — much more orthodox than it used to be,” he said. “It’s also changed in terms of it’s much more of an immigrant district with a lot of eastern European immigrants who tend to be more conservative, having left the old Soviet Union.”

Both expressed unwavering optimism Obama will be competitive in the district, which he carried with 55 percent of the vote in 2008, and the rest of New York next year.

“As the scene focuses from cutting [spending] to jobs, the president will do better and better in this district, in New York and in the country,” Schumer said.

Wasserman Schultz, citing the latest CNN poll that found a majority of Americans support Obama’s job-creation plan, said, “We know the president’s vision is resonating.

“We’re building an unprecedented grassroots organization,” she said. “We’re not waiting until next year to go into the battleground states. That’s where this campaign is going to be won.”

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