Once-Blue Asian-American voters in New York — sickened by crime, discrimination and poor education — have turned on the Democratic Party with a vengeance, a Post analysis of the election results reveals.
In a surprising development, Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin won the Asian majority of the 40th Assembly District in Flushing/Bayside Queens over victorious Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul, with 7,819 votes to the incumbent’s 7,301.
Zeldin also defeated Hochul in the heavily Asian 47th and 49th Assembly districts of South Brooklyn.
The GOP congressman from Long Island won 23 predominantly Asian electoral districts combined in the two Assembly districts — including in Chinese-populated Sunset Park, the electoral district review found. Zeldin even won an electoral district in Chinatown – ED 16 – with 187 votes to Hochul’s 153.
“Safety is my top priority. The crime rate is increasingly dramatic in the streets of Chinatown. What the Republican Party is proposing is to solve the problem of public safety and high crime,” said Manhattan borough resident Lili, who also cited inflation and education as issues. which made her vote Republican.
“We’re Asian American citizens, but we’re not treated the same. … I’m very disappointed in the Democratic Party right now. I hope all of New York can turn red.
In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2 to 1, Hochul won the election over tough Zeldin by just 6 percentage points. His victory was fueled by support from 90% of black voters, but Zeldin made significant inroads among Orthodox Jewish and Latino voters, in addition to Asian voters.
The winning GOP candidates said they benefited from Asian discontent in once-solid Democratic territory.
“It comes down to public safety and education. People see crime every day. I heard it when I knocked on doors,” said Lester Chang, the Republican candidate who upset 36-year-old veteran Democratic MP Peter Abbate in 49th AD.
And while Zeldin won the 40th DA in Flushing/Bayside, Democratic Congressman Ron Kim managed to squeeze through his own race in the district, winning re-election by just 550 votes – or 52% to 48% – against his rival Republican Sharon Liao.
He said his constituents felt the Democratic regime in New York had failed to address their concerns.
“For the past few years, my constituents have felt physically and economically insecure. A group of immigrants were told that if they worked hard, they would get through. This is no longer the case. The Democratic Party leadership did not take these concerns seriously. … There is a lot of frustration and anger in the Asian-American community,” Kim said.
Zeldin also edged out Hochul in the Asian community. He met with Asian civic leaders in Flushing shortly after announcing his candidacy last year and his campaign has maintained a steady reach, said Yiakin Chu, co-founder and chairman of the new nonpartisan group, Asian Wave Alliance.
She said Zeldin supporters had overwhelmed WeChat, the social media app used by Chinese-speaking residents, while the Hochul campaign had virtually no presence.
Democratic policies promoting cashless bail and moving away from merit-based education programs have alienated Asian voters, Chu said.
“Education has really motivated people like never before. We’ve seen what politics can do for public education,” Chu said.
She also said working-class Asian voters oppose the move to impose congestion pricing — higher tolls — to enter Manhattan’s business district and replace the Rikers Island prison complex. by smaller jails in Chinatown and outer boroughs, controversial policies advanced by Democrats.
Chu and other members of the Asian community noted that the Democratic Party’s significant move away from Republicans began last year, when GOP mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa won many Asian districts amid a backlash to former mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to make merit-based schooling more flexible. admission policies as well as pandemic restrictions.
Lawmaker Kim also said Asian parents are tired of seeing their children compete against black and Latino students to get into rigorous schools.
“Asian American families don’t want to be stuck in the rat race. It’s the Hunger Games. We are not building enough specialist schools and gifted and talented schools,” he said.
New York Post