Votes for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are often opposite reactions to the same problem: income inequality and economic unfairness. This message resonated most strongly yesterday with residents of southern Brooklyn, who supported the two candidates overwhelmingly in the state’s presidential primary, according to data from the New York Times. Kasich did best among the handfuls of Republicans in wealthier areas—Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Park Slope and the Northside—while Cruz fared best in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods, such as Borough Park, Midwood, Crown Heights and the Southside. But south of 65th Street, Trump won almost every election district, including every one in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, usually receiving between 55 and 80 percent of the vote.
Similarly, Sanders dominated in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst (though not as hegemonically), losing only 10 election districts in our neighborhood to Hillary Clinton (and winning more than three times as many). Clinton’s strongest Democratic support came from the Shore Road area—from 74th Street to Colonial Gardens/Narrows Avenue, and back to Colonial Road, once the rough boundaries of Old Bay Ridge’s toniest section—which includes the wealthiest part of the neighborhood; she also won almost every district south of 94th Street (though Bernie won the armybase, 12 votes to 4!).
Sanders also did quite well in Greenpoint and Bushwick. But Clinton dominated not only central Brooklyn, which was expected, but also what I thought could have been Bernie strongholds, such as Park Slope. Turns out the greatest predictor of Hillary support is wealth: demographically, areas where the median income is more than $100,000 voted Clinton. The middle class and lower class votes were mixed, but where the middle class voters (median income between $50,000 and $100,000) tended to be white, they tended yesterday to vote Sanders—or Trump, depending on party affiliation.
The breakdown of the total vote in Bay Ridge, according to WNYC:
Bernie Sanders: 53.7% (3,998 votes)
Hillary Clinton: 46.3% (3,445 votes)
Donald Trump: 69.3% (1,791 votes)
John Kasich: 20.6% (533 votes)
Ted Cruz: 10.1 % (261 votes)
That also means 10,028 people voted yesterday—a 40 percent increase over the number of voters in the last general election five months ago.