Obama Gained Unevenly in Brooklyn

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Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo toured Sandy-damaged areas of the city with President Obama in November. In the aftermath of the storm, the president increased his vote total in 11 of Brooklyn's 19 assembly districts.

Photo by: White House

Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo toured Sandy-damaged areas of the city with President Obama in November. In the aftermath of the storm, the president increased his vote total in 11 of Brooklyn's 19 assembly districts.

President Obama narrowly increased his share of the vote in Brooklyn this year over his 2008 performance, but two districts that went for John McCain four years ago swung to the Democratic column in 2012.

According to final tabulations released last week by the city’s Board of Elections, Obama nabbed 81 percent of the Kings County vote to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 17 percent. In the last presidential contest, Arizona Sen. John McCain took 20 percent of the vote to Obama’s 79 percent. The Green Party increased its vote share by about half a percentage point.

Because of redistricting, comparing the presidential vote then and now in individual assembly districts is difficult. But that’s how the BOE reports results. And some interesting patterns emerge. In the 19 districts that lay in Brooklyn in 2008 and 2012 (some were removed or added through the redrawing of lines), Obama increased his vote count in 11 of them. The most dramatic swing was in the 60th Assembly district, where his margin went from 59 percent to 40 percent in 2008 to 96 percent to 3 percent this year.

As Brooklyn Bureau noted before the election, four Assembly districts tend to vote Republican in presidential races in otherwise Democrat-dominated Brooklyn. These adjacent districts were redrawn this year but basically split up the same territory in southern Brooklyn, roughly from Dyker Heights through Bensonhurst to Sheepshead Bay.

In two of those, Romney prevailed as expected. Romney took 75 percent of the vote in the 48th Assembly district, encompassing parts of Dyker Heights and Borough Park—better than the 70 percent McCain nabbed. In the 45th A.D., which covers neighborhoods like Gravesend and Midwood, Romney prevailed but by a slightly smaller margin than McCain.

In the 47th and 49th assembly districts, however, GOP wins in 2008 turned into Democratic victories last year. Obama lost with 47 percent of the vote in the 47th (Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) in 2008; in 2012 he recorded 58 percent of the tally there. And in the 49th district of Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst, Obama’s vote share rose from 45 percent to 65 percent.

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