To win in a Democratic district, Turner needed Democratic votes. The two issues that seem to have helped drive some of the district's traditionally Democratic voters to cast their ballots for Turner were Obama's Israel policy and Weprin's vote for same-sex marriage. Former Democratic New York City mayor Ed Koch endorsed Turner primarily to send a message to Obama on
Israel. Democratic state senator Ruben Diaz backed Turner because of Weprin's vote on marriage. Democratic state assemblyman Dov Hikind says both issues, as well as dissatisfaction with Obama's failed economic policies, were "overriding" factors that led him to support Turner.
"This is an underlying issue that is an extremely powerful issue," Hikind says of Weprin's vote for same-sex marriage. Weprin didn't merely vote for the bill. He got on the floor of the assembly and compared voting against same-sex marriage to "outlawing marriages between Jews and non-Jews or interracial marriages.”
"The fundamental message was 'I'm an orthodox Jew and gay marriage is perfectly fine,'" Hikind says of his Democratic colleague's speech. "To me, when he did that, he crossed every single line." Forty orthodox rabbis declared that orthodox Jews could not support Weprin.
"I can tell you this is a real serious issue among Jews, among orthodox Jews, among Catholics," Hikind says. A PPP poll from last week showed that 29% of voters in the district said marriage is "very important," and a plurality (45% to 41%) said same-sex marriage should be "illegal."