Anybody notice the rightward shift of New York voters...in the South Bronx and Washington Heights?
New York's former Republican congressman, Lee Zeldin, who came within a hair's breadth of winning the governor's chair in 2022, put out an interesting chart showing the change of voting direction in New York City. He hailed the significant rightward shift of Asian-American voters.
Here's his tweet:
There was a MASSIVE rightward shift in NYC’s Asian American vote in last year’s gubernatorial election. We won Chinatown in Manhattan, Flushing in Queens, and Sunset Park in Brooklyn, promoting safer streets, higher quality education in our schools, and upward economic mobility. pic.twitter.com/4iCWXkN4Td— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) March 6, 2023
The dark red sections, outlined in black, show the rightward shift of neighborhoods and precincts dominated by Asian-American voters. It's not the whole picture, just the directional shift, as many of these areas still ended up going blue. But the darker the red areas, the more the Republicans gained voters. Here's a reference map to show the neighborhoods.
Zeldin, according to his Twitter bio, is now chairman of the Leadership America Needs PAC, which seems focused on finding and attracting new voters, which would explain his interest in the shift.
But the chart contained something I hadn't heard of earlier. Look at the red-ward shift in the upper reaches of Manhattan, which includes Washington Heights, as well as the South Bronx.
That's a heckuva lot of red there, too.
Those neighborhoods are loaded with Dominican-American voters who normally vote Democrat. The South Bronx is full of similar voters who also have always gone Democrat.
Looks as if the GOP has drawn a lot of new voters from those parts, too.
I used to live in the South Bronx back when I was a Forbes reporter in the late 1990s and early aughts. Then-mayor Rudy Giuliani had made New York City so crime-free there was no danger of crime even in those parts. My daily journey to lower Manhattan began from the Elder Avenue subway station. My landlord was an industrious Guyanese immigrant named Ivan. The neighborhood there was loaded with Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Jamaicans to the north and south (Colin Powell's neighborhood was one subway stop south of mine), Nigerians, Senegalese, and Koreans a little to the north, and all industrious immigrants who seemed to me like Republicans in their values, nascent conservatives, even though they always voted Democrat.
Obviously, that was about right. They were just waiting for the right Republican who could speak to them, and, well, Zeldin seems to have reached a lot of them. The chart he tweeted speaks for itself.
The chart shows the shift in direction rather than the entire total and in those parts, and we have to admit that the change looks big because it comes from a very low base. I recall that back on 9/11, as the towers were coming down, I went to vote, as there were local city elections on that day, and was handed my ballot — number two from the Republican pile, because there were very, very few registered Republicans.
But obviously, based on Zeldin's chart, there's been a strong movement rightward. And I have not seen much of any news coverage from it. Industrious and legal immigrants of all kinds in the African and Caribbean naturalized communities are starting to move to Republicans. Talk about buried news. This shouldn't be ignored by the GOP establishment, though, as they are one heck of a desirable constituency to draw to conservatives and Republicans. They are natural Republicans, and every effort must be expended to welcome them to the party.
Image: Twitter screen shot.