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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and President Bill Clinton have recorded automated calls for Democrat David Weprin in the surprisingly close race for New York's 9th Congressional district.
The Weprin campaign said that a call from Cuomo would begin today and that the Clinton call would dial into homes on the day of Tuesday's special election.
Both calls mention the New York Times' endorsement of Weprin and his devotion to preserving Medicare.
"He'll oppose the tea party plan to destroy Medicare," Clinton says in the call.
Weprin, a state Assemblyman, is locked in a tight race with retired television executive Bob Turner (R). Two recent polls found Weprin trailing Turner by significant margins, despite the more than 3-1 Democratic registration advantage in the Queens- and Brooklyn-based district.
It's unclear what kind of effect, if any, the calls will have this close to the election. The Weprin campaign said in a release that the calls are part of a "massive" get-out-the-vote effort that includes 1,000 volunteers going door to door.
"It's kind of surprising to me, but the endorsement of Andrew Cuomo doesn't seem to [cut] it," longtime Republican strategist Roger Stone said. Despite Cuomo being extremely popular in the district — Stone said some internal polling that he saw had Cuomo with a 72 percent approval rating in the 9th — the strategist explained that the governor's stamp of approval doesn't seem to be moving the needle.
Stone speculated voters are going to the polls "for issue-oriented reasons — Israel, Obama, economy — and the endorsement of Cuomo is clearly not making any difference to them."
Democrats flooded Weprin with late money. According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission over the weekend, Weprin received contributions from the committees of Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) and Reps. Steven Rothman (N.J.), John Yarmuth (Ky.) and Kathy Hochul (N.Y.), among others. He also received donations from a number of Members' political action committees.
Weprin reported $42,000 in contributions on Saturday and $27,100 on Sunday.
Conservative groups and tea party activists have been rallying their money and volunteers on Turner's behalf in hopes of flipping the long-held Democratic seat.