New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio aggressively campaigned to black voters playing up the fact that he is married to a black woman and has interracial children. The tactic worked. Blacks voters viewed Blasio as an honorary black man and voted for him as a monolith. He won 96% of the black vote. Many black voters openly stated that they voted for de Blasio specifically because of his black wife and children.
What is most shocking is that de Blasio got an even higher percentage of the black vote than David N. Dinkins. When Dinkins became the first black mayor of NYC in 1989, he received 91% of the black vote. Bill de Blasio’s 96% could suggest that black voters are even more motivated by race in 2013 than in 1989. A far cry from the post-racial world that Obama was supposed to herald.
Consider the victory of Dave Wilson, a candidate for Houston Community Board. He was a white Republican running against a Democrat incumbent in a mostly black district. He pretended to be black by using campaign ads and mailers that led black voters to think he was black. He ended up winning.
Consider Alvin Greene, the black South Carolina candidate in the 2010 Democratic Party primary for US Senate. Despite exhibiting clear traits of mental retardation, despite being kicked out of the military, despite facing felony charges, despite not raising or spending any money other than the fee to get on the ballot, despite being unemployed, and despite never having any campaign events, blacks voters favored him over a well qualified white judge who spent $200k campaigning. Even after Greene caused nationwide embarrassment for the South Carolina Democratic Party, and several alternative liberal candidates got on the ballot as third party candidates, black voters picked Greene again in the general election by a large margin.
Latinos also voted for Bill de Blasio as a monolith. Exit polls showed 85% of Latinos voting for Lhota. Asians voted for Bill de Blasio at 70%.
Lhota’s strongest base of support was white Catholics who voted 2 to 1 in favor of Lhota. The Jewish vote was divided with Orthodox Jews favoring Lhota and reform and non-religious Jews favoring de Blasio.
A black janitor in Brooklyn almost shouted out the name when asked about his vote in the mayoral race. Bill de Blasio, he said, “knows my struggle.”In the Bronx, some African-American voters defaulted to a shorthand: “the man with the black wife.” Nobody thought it necessary to explain whom they meant.And in a Brooklyn housing project, a lifelong resident said he was tired of mayors who, in his mind, had pitted blacks against whites. Mr. de Blasio, he declared, “is black and white.”Of all the records shattered by Mr. de Blasio’s landslide victory, perhaps the most remarkable is that virtually every vote cast by black New Yorkers — 96 percent — went his way. He captured a bigger portion of the black vote than David N. Dinkins in 1989 when he was elected New York City’s first black mayor with 91 percent of the black vote, according to exit polls.After the divisive tenor of the Giuliani years, and the deep grievances engendered by the stop-and-frisk police tactics of the Bloomberg era, black New Yorkers are now claiming Mr. de Blasio’s victory as their own. In postelection interviews, dozens of black New Yorkers said that Mr. de Blasio’s personal touch, his biracial family and his pledge to help the working-class and poor had affected them deeply. His victory, they said, was a chance to gain a voice in City Hall after two decades of leadership they viewed as inattentive, distant and, at times, even callous.