It’s the biggest political upset of the century! Despite not being a designated candidate, former Congressman Anthony Weiner won the special election for the 9th Congressional District… at least among write-in candidates.
The New York City Board of Elections released the break-down of votes from the September 13 special election for New York’s 9th Congressional District, and voters turned to write-in candidates at more than double the rate of the previous congressional election, reflecting voters’ disaffection with the offerings of the established political parties.
Top on the list of write-ins? Anthony Weiner, who walked away with 31 votes… out of 72,197 total votes cast in Brooklyn and Queens.
Weiner bested 48 other write-in candidates, none of whom garnered more than one or two votes a piece (altogether, write-in votes totaled 85). Just to give you an idea of some of the high-powered political opposition Weiner inadvertently ran against, here’s a list of the highlights:
- Alan Comes (presumably, the liberal pundit Alan Colmes)
- Calvin Klein
- David Weprin (yep, someone wrote that in)
- Diamond Joe Quimby, of The Simpsons fame
- John Doe
- Lamb Chop
- Lewis Black, the comedian and Daily Show contributor
- Michael Bloomberg, in an apparent bid to get him out of the mayoral seat
- Michael Nelson
- Munchma Quchi, the fictional mother of the fictional Muslim supporter of the non-fictional Colbert Report
- Neither Candidate
- No Gay Marriage
- None of the listed
- And, last but not least, a vote cast by a constituent who is the clear loser in all of this… “Someone who will do something.”
Of particular note is the number of write-in votes, which came in at nearly double the rate than in the previous election.
In the 2010 race for the seat – which Weiner was re-elected to – there was only 65 votes cast for 39 write-in candidates – accounting for .055 percent of the overall vote. That’s compared to the .118 percent that turned to write-in candidates this year. That suggests some voters who might have otherwise voted for one of the major parties decided they didn’t want to support either Bob Turner or David Weprin.
We tried to get in touch with the former congressman to congratulate him on his victory (of sorts), but he was surprisingly unavailable, perhaps because he’s busy getting harassed by photographers enamored with his murse.
So instead we turned to his former colleague, City Councilman Lew Fidler, who agreed that the surprise showings for Weiner illustrates that he retains the support of his constituents, if not the support of his fellow representatives.
“A couple of people did say a couple of weekends before the election that if Weiner’s name were on the ballot he would win,” Fidler said. “As troubled a recent past as he had, people would not have run him out on a rail the way Washington and the national press did.”
Fidler also added that the higher percentage of write-in votes overall speaks volumes about the candidates the parties put forward and their campaigns.
“I think voters were frustrated with both the circumstances and the negativity [of the campaigns] and I think … had there been a ‘None of the above’ lever, we would’ve seen a disappointing number of people choose that,” he said. “[Instead] I think people chose that by not voting.”