Democrats suffered a significant setback early Wednesday with the party losing a New York district it had held for almost a century — in an upset result seen as a rebuke of President Barack Obama’s policies ahead of the 2012 election.

Republican Bob Turner was called as the winner of the special election for the 9th Congressional District, held to replace disgraced former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned in June after admitting he sent sexually-charged messages to women he met online.

Democrats were once seemingly assured of an easy victory in the race but were forced to scramble ahead of the election because of what Republicans claimed was widespread voter dissatisfaction with Obama, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The district is overwhelmingly Democratic — by a ratio of three to one — yet Weprin, a state Assemblyman, trailed by six percent in two polls prior to the election.

Polls in the district also showed that a majority of voters have an unfavorable view of Obama.

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