President Barack Obama’s support from New York City in the 2012 election was the highest recorded for a candidate in more than 100 years, according to a final tally of votes.
Obama beat Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 81 percent to 18 percent in the nation’s largest city, according to a certified vote count released Dec. 31 by the state board of elections. Some New York ballots were counted late in part because of complications caused byHurricane Sandy.
“Demographic shifts are permanently changing the political landscape,” said Bruce Berg, a political scientist at Fordham University in New York. Census data show New York “is a more minority city than it already was,” he said in a telephone interview.The results underscore New York’s decades-long status as a Democratic bastion where most residents are racial and ethnic minorities. Of the city’s 8.2 million residents, 29 percent are Hispanic, 23 percent are non-Hispanic black and 13 percent are non-Hispanic Asian, according to 2011 estimates from the Census Bureau.
Republican presidential candidates have taken less than one-fourth of the city vote in each of the past six elections. Calvin Coolidge in 1924 was the last Republican presidential nominee to win New York.
Obama broke his own record of 79 percent support in New York City in the 2008 election. The president improved on his showing from four years ago in four of the city’s five boroughs. He rose to 91 percent from 89 percent in the Bronx, to 82 percent from 79 percent in Brooklyn, and to 79 percent from 75 percent in Queens, and carried Staten Island with 51 percent after taking 48 percent and losing the borough in 2008.
Manhattan, which includes Wall Street, is the one borough where Obama’s support edged downward, falling to 84 percent from 86 percent four years ago.
The Bronx has been New York’s most Democratic borough in each of the past five presidential elections, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It is one of the nation’s poorest areas, with a median household income of $32,058 in 2011. More than 80 percent of residents are black or Hispanic.
Turnout in the city fell to 2.45 million votes from 2.62 million in 2008, when Obama when as elected the nation’s first black president amid a financial crisis that took hold at the end of Republican George W. Bush’s administration.