A preview of 2012.

(WaPo) — With the outcome of his own reelection effort 14 difficult months away, President Obama suffered a sharp rebuke Tuesday when voters in New York elected a conservative Republican to represent a Democratic district that has not been in GOP hands since the 1920s.

Bob Turner, the winner, cast the election as a referendum on Obama’s stewardship of the economy and, in the state’s Ninth Congressional District, which has a large population of Orthodox Jewish voters, the president’s position on Israel.

With 75 percent of the precincts reporting at press time, Turner had a commanding lead, with 53 percent of the vote, compared with 47 percent for Weprin.

Turner, 70, a retired cable TV executive who has never served in elective office, defeated Democratic State Assemblyman David Weprin, 55, who has two decades of experience in public service, to fill the seat left vacant when Anthony Weiner (D) resigned in disgrace in June after more than 12 years in the House.

The defeat came as Republicans trounced Democrats in another special House election Tuesday, in northern Nevada, where Republican Mark Amodei led Democrat Kate Marshall, 56 percent to 39 percent almost from the start.

In both contests, the GOP pulled ahead by linking the Democratic candidate to Obama and his handling of the economy. Both Republican contenders urged voters to “send a message” to the president.