After the election there were attempts to claim that Obama had won the Orthodox Jewish vote based on a few districts where he broke even. Those districts also had non-majority Modern Orthodox populations. Meanwhile the New York Times, doing its best to heap on a dose of class warfare, looks at the parts of New York City where Romney won.
Mr. Romney enjoyed strong support from a range of neighborhoods with large populations of Orthodox Jews, regardless of income level.
Mr. Romney won more than 90 percent of the votes in many precincts in the Borough Park and Sheepshead Bay neighborhoods in Brooklyn and in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens. Some Romney supporters from those areas were surprised to learn their candidate had performed so well.
“I thought I was alone, a voice in the wilderness,” James Gibbons, a retired technical writer, said as he walked into a kosher supermarket on Avenue S in Brooklyn. He said the support for Mr. Romney was “terrific, but I wish it was spread out more.”
Other Romney strongholds were on the city’s perimeter: Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn; Belle Harbor in the Rockaways; and Howard Beach, Queens.
The 2012 New York Times precinct map is poorly executed, but take a look at similar neighborhood results from the 2008 election. Red stands for Democrats and blue for Republicans. And Orthodox areas appear as oasis of blue surrounded by red.
And finally mostly non-Orthodox, but Russian Jewish Brighton Beach.
The New York Times now goes into class warfare mode profiling a Sefardi Orthodox neighborhood of Middle Eastern Jewish refugees. Many of whom are big believers in building things.
Take a four-square-block slice of Gravesend, Brooklyn, a warren of high-priced residences dotted with Sephardic temples and yeshivas that happens to be the deepest single bloc of Republican support in all five boroughs. On Election Day, 97 percent of the voters there supported Mr. Romney, who beat Mr. Obama 133 votes to 3. Mr. Romney won unanimously in six other precincts, but altogether, 10 people voted in those precincts.
On Monday in Gravesend, Jewish men in black hats, clutching prayer books, strolled past manicured lawns and driveways filled with Porsches and Mercedes-Benzes. A Maserati was parked across the street from a rabbinical school on Avenue S. It is a district of families and business owners, residents said, where religious values are often as deeply felt as economic ones.
“There is a perception that Obama is not the best friend of Israel,” said Ike Hanon, 22, a rabbinical student who lives on East Ninth Street, as he left afternoon prayers. “He’s been catering more to the Muslim countries.”
But his neighbors, Mr. Hanon added, many of whom are entrepreneurs and first- or second-generation immigrants, were equally turned off by what he called the president’s “philosophy of handouts and taking money from the rich.”
“We’re more of an upstart type of people,” Mr. Hanon said. “We’re go-getters. We want someone who really rewards hard work.”
He probably meant start up. But Obama still has the Walt Whitman Houses, dilapidated housing projects where Walt Whitman would get mugged and beaten to death.
Of the 91 precincts that handed unanimous victories to Mr. Obama, the Walt Whitman Houses in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, delivered the highest number of votes: 550 to 0.
“I’m not surprised,” said Isabella Lee, president of the tenants’ association. “We had a humongous turnout. Some people were in line for an hour; some a little more.”
Octavia Johnson, 29, a lifelong resident of the Whitman Houses, said she arrived at her polling station at 7 a.m. to find “pandemonium.”
“Everybody was talking about the terrible things Romney was saying; everybody was saying how Romney is not for the inner city and he’s not for the poor,” she said on Tuesday. “Romney wanted us to continue to struggle. He wanted to make the poor poorer and the rich richer.”
At least for once a story about the Walt Whitman Houses is not preceded by, “Two men were shot dead in the Walt Whitman Houses after a drug deal gone bad.”
Speaking of, “A 27-year-old man was shot and killed outside the Walt Whitman Houses on Sunday morning, Sept. 30, according to police.”
A 29-year-old man was shot four times – once in his left hip, once in his right wrist and twice in his left ankle – at the Walt Whitman Houses
A man was shot twice at the Walt Whitman Houses on Sunday night, police said. The victim, described by cops as a man in his 30s, was shot once in the leg and once in the buttocks.”
This charming area happens to be the second poorest block in the city because of racism, also people shooting each other and not working for a living, with an average income of $9,001, not counting drug and robbery receipts.
But the residents of Walt “Murder” Whitman houses remain confident that voting Obama a second time around will fix it all.
Mr. Blocker has been unemployed for three years, after losing his job at JCPenney on 34th Street in Manhattan. Since then he has made an unreliable living selling bootleg DVD’s, money that he uses to buy baby formula his daughter, Dior. Still, Mr. Blocker said, he maintains has faith that things will get better for his family if he voted for President Barack Obama.
After casting his first ever presidential vote, Mr. Blocker explained why he felt compelled to go to the polls in 2012, but not in 2008. He paused to gather his thoughts, taking a long, hard pull off his Newport cigarette, while staring at the cracks in the sidewalk beneath his black suede Timberland boots.
He told the story of his days at JCPenney, where he worked as the store manager for three years. He said he was on track for a promotion before getting laid off in 2010, in the wake of the financial meltdown.
“They started handing out pink slips like candy,” Mr. Blocker said. “I wound up broke and couldn’t pay rent. I can’t even count how many different shelters I’ve been to since then.”
He and his daughter were transferred to the shelter in Fort Greene following Dior’s birth in August, after nine months at the Urban Strategies Maternity Shelter in Brownsville with his then-pregnant girlfriend, Jackie. Mr. Blocker said he is haunted by the image of Dior being raised in a homeless shelter.
“I believe Obama truly cares about what happens to me and my daughter, that he wants to help us get out of here,” he said. “It gives you hope, especially when you have a newborn baby to take care of.”
Surely Obama will create more jobs that will solve the whole problem. Even though Blocker actually lost his job under Obama.
Fun fact. A pack of cigarettes in New York City costs $12.50. But I’m off topic here so let’s wrap this up. The Hanon vote lost. The Blocker vote won.