Last month, The Observer wrote a piece detailing how the New York Times endorsement process works, what the editorial board looks for in a candidate, and how much getting the gray lady’s nod determines who emerges victorious on election day.
Now, with New York’s federal elections only a few weeks away, we take a look at each of the competitive elections on June 26, take a guess at which way the paper will go and deduce what kind of an effect it will have.
Disagree? Make it known in the comments.
U.S. Senate Republican Primary—Bob Turner vs. Wendy Long vs. George Maragos
It is no by means a certainty that The Times will endorse in the GOP Senate primary, and if they do, expect it to be a hold-you-nose-and-vote-for-the-guy-who-is-marginally-better-than-the-rest kind of endorsement. Expect something along the lines of the paper’s endorsement of Mitt Romney in the presidential primary in April, in which they mocked Mr. Romney for abandoning his moderating tendencies and slammed GOP extremism before declaring the Massachusetts governor “the best choice of the field.” For this little noticed Senate race for the right to go up against Kirsten Gillibrand, the paper is likely to go with Bob Turner, a Queens businessman-turned-congressman, who is far less strident in his social views than Wendy Long and more dynamic than George Maragos. Mr. Turner is running very much as the candidate of New York City, and hometown pride may count for something here.
Attorney Wendy Long, campaigning for the Republican nomination to take on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, blasted City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott for backing a switch up of the songs at a kindergarten graduation, and in doing so, slipped in an attack on one of her rivals, Rep. Bob Turner. Mr. Turner helped create the Jerry Springer Show and Ms. Long blasted the replacement of “God Bless the USA” for Justin Bieber’s “Baby Love” as “replacing civic education with Jerry Springer-like popular culture.”
“It seems that the New York City Schools Chancellor approves of replacing civic education with Jerry Springer-like popular culture,” Ms. Long declared in the statement. “This is a big problem in a country whose survival depends upon the success of self-government, of citizens who love this country and understand and defend it.”
This morning, Wendy Long continued to roll out endorsements in her campaign for the Republican nomination to take on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. First it was Grover Norquist, and now she added Steve Forbes to the list.
“Wendy would also support a stable dollar that doesn’t swing wildly against gold,” Mr. Forbes said in a somewhat wonky statement. “The last decade of dollar gyrations contributed to the bubbles of recent years and to our continued economic weakness. Wendy will push for a return to sound money and exchange rate stability.”
U.S. Senate candidate Bob Turner released his first television ad of the 2012 campaign cycle, one which plays heavily on what has been his chief calling card: his 2011 upset victory over David Weprin for a Congressional seat in Queens and Brooklyn.
The ad begins with TV news coverage of Mr. Turner on a podium surrounded by supporters like Rep. Peter King and former mayor Ed Koch as he celebrates the victory for the seat held by Democrats since 1922.
The ad then pivots to his race against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who the spot dubs “the most liberal senator” in the nation and addresses Mr. Turner’s priorities, among them cutting spending and opening up the Keystone Pipeline.
Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Bob Turner ventured up to Buffalo today to knock the Obama administration over a mandate that requires religious institutions to provide insurance for birth control.
The mandate is the subject of a lawsuit by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Buffalo Diocese.
“As we are about to celebrate Memorial Day and honor the service men and women who have fought to protect our freedoms, New Yorkers should rally behind the more than 40 religious organizations across the country who have been forced to sue the Obama Administration over infringement of their First Amendment rights,” said Mr. Turner. ”President Obama has made a reckless and unconstitutional expansion of the federal government the primary focus of his administration and this latest threat to religious liberty is yet another example. Trampling over the First Amendment is a bridge too far and Mr. Obama will have to account for his actions with the millions of voters who support a fundamental American right of freedom of religion.”
In the same interview with Fred Dicker where Bob Turner announced that he was relying on “The Pataki Strategy” of running up big numbers in New York City –boosted by his superior name recognition–to oust a Democrat in a statewide election, and where he hinted about a soon-to-be-forthcoming endorsement from Rudy Giuliani, he also said that he and his opponents in the GOP Senate primary ”are not taking shots at each other.”
As we pointed out, this isn’t really accurate, not with George Maragos comparing Mr. Turner to Barack Obama and accusing him of fomenting racial strife.
Now it appears that Wendy Long has joined the fray, with a point-by-point rebuttal of Mr. Turner’s interview with Mr. Dicker.
Did Bob Turner step on his own good news?
Today he was asked by Fred Dicker on his radio show if he had any upcoming surprises in his GOP Senate primary, like say an endorsement from Rudy Giuliani, and if there were such an endorsement forthcoming, would it even matter?
Yes, Mr. Turner said. Mr. Giuliani would make a difference. And yes, he added, there are some surprises in store.
Mr. Dicker pressed further, and low and behold, not a few hours later comes the following into The Politicker’s inbox.
GOP Senate Race
Congressman Bob Turner appeared on Fred Dicker’s radio show this morning where he gave a simple explanation as to how he will win his June GOP Senate primary against Wendy Long and George Maragos.
“We have on this side pretty good name recognition as that goes,” he said. “The campaign is really against Senator Gillibrand. We are spending all our efforts on that. All of us are not taking shots at each other and we will let the voters decide who is the best to carry the standard.”
The Wednesday edition of the Orthodox newspaper Hamodia is the most circulated, and two federal candidates of opposing political persuasion took advantage of that fact today to make their pitches for why Jewish voters should prefer them.
Republican Senate hopeful Congressman Bob Turner even made the front page. Featured was his appearance at a fundraiser in Midwood, a heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood that helped carry him to an upset win in a special election last year. However, his quoted messaging was largely broad criticisms of the Democratic incumbent, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, without a local angle on her flaws.
A Siena poll out this morning had some good news /bad news for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
The first-term senator led her three possible Republican opponents by 34 points even as her favorability ratings dipped below 50 percent again. Seventy-to-eighty percent of Republicans had now opinion of either Wendy Long, Bob Turner or George Maragos, while 54 percent of respondents think she should be re-elected, four points off her highest marks.