Forward Thinking

Shhh: NY Times Reports on Orthodox GOP Vote

By J.J. Goldberg

  • Print
  • Share Share
getty images

Some news, apparently, is fit to print, but not too boldly. Take, for example, the demure self-censorship on display Saturday in the New York Times’ eye-opening report, headlined “On Island, Largely Blue, an Exception: Trump Tower,” on the handful of New York City neighborhoods that voted for Mitt Romney over President Obama. Overall, the city voted Obama over Romney 81% to 18%.

The headline and the first five paragraphs were about the two isolated election precincts on the Upper East Side of Manhattan Island where Romney won half or more of the vote. It wasn’t until paragraph 7 to find out that the main news began to trickle out: that the “deepest single bloc of Republican support in all the five boroughs” was a four-square-block section of Gravesend, Brooklyn, “dotted with Sephardic temples and yeshivas.”

Finally, well into the jump, we learned that Romney “enjoyed strong support from a range of neighborhoods with large populations of Orthodox Jews.” Many precincts in Borough Park, Kew Gardens Hills and Sheepshead Bay (which is largely Russian, not Orthodox) voted 90% GOP. A note on the accompanying map gave you the money quote: “Mr. Obama’s worst precincts were in Orthodox Jewish areas like Ocean Parkway and Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Kew Gardens Hills in Queens.”

The map shows the city’s 5,286 precincts as a sea of blue and red dots, shaded darker or lighter to indicate higher or lower percentages of partisan leaning. The darkest red voted over 80% for Romney, while pale pink gave him 50% to 65%. In addition to the broad swathes of dark red running down Brooklyn from Hasidic Borough Park down Sephardic Ocean Park to Russian Brighton Beach, there are dark red clusters in mostly Italian-American Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, and mostly Irish-American (and storm-ravaged) Breezy Point, Queens.

The Irish-Italian south shore of Staten Island is all pink, but the borough overall gave Obama a slight edge. There are interesting pink clusters as well in the Irish enclave of Woodlawn in the north Bronx and heavily Italian Pelham Bay in the east Bronx, as well mostly Italian Howard Beach, Queens, plus tiny red clusters in the Satmar section of Williamsburg and the Lubavitch section of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and one isolated red dot in what appears to be the dwindling Modern Orthodox east Bronx enclave of Pelham Parkway.

To understand why the Times buried its very serious lede below a frothy Trump headline, consider this Politico story reporting on the Times’ findings. The headline, “Inside Obama’s New York win,” is bland enough. But the report doesn’t mince words: It comes right to the point, noting twice (once in its citywide summary, once in its Brooklyn borough breakdown) that Orthodox Jews were Romney’s strongest base in the Big Apple.

Not surprisingly, the Politico story is followed by a lively and at times venomous exchange of comments. A few nuggets:

As a traditional/orthodox Jew, I really don’t appreciate all the orthodox bashing going on here. Overall, I think we are a very kind and charitable community. The bottom line is that most traditional Jews voted for Romney for two main reasons #1 they felt that Obama was soft on Muslim extremism/hatred for Israel in the Middle East. …

…If the Orthodox and/or hardline view ever gain a dominant foothold in Isreal or among American Jews, I will demand that we losen our ties with Israel.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Woodlawn, Upper East Side, Trump Tower, Staten Island, Sheepshead Bay, Sephardic, Russian Jews, Republican, Queens, President Obama, Pelham Parkway, Pelham Bay, Orthodox Jews, Ocean Parkway, New York City, Mitt Romney, Manhattan, Kew Gardens Hills, Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Hasidic, Howard Beach, Election Precincts, Dyker Heights, Democratic, Crown Heights, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Brighton Beach, Breezy Point, Barack Obama, boro Park, jewish, the Bronx

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.