Here is a story that sells speculation as fact. People will attribute this to my rancor about the racial component in this race, but I ask fair minded people to judge whether my criticism of this story is valid. Here's the story
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg forged his historic re-election victory on Tuesday by drawing roughly half of New York's black voters and about 3 in 10 Latinos to the Republican line, even though he faced a Hispanic challenger who sought to capitalize on ethnic pride, an analysis of voting returns shows.
The mayor's wide support among minority voters is a sign that the strategy of the Democrat, Fernando Ferrer, to build on a dependable base of black and Hispanic votes fell victim to emerging political realities: that blacks and Hispanics no longer vote reflexively as a bloc, and that a middle-class coalition can trump traditional ethnic-based appeals. The winning multiethnic coalition turned out to be Mr. Bloomberg's.
What is the evidence of this statement? Buried in the story is the evidence that Sam Roberts' conclusions are based on conjecture:
Most news organizations did not invest this year in surveying voters as they leave the polls, a practice that tries to determine voting patterns of people who identify themselves by race, ethnicity, ideology, income and other categories. One, by Pace University, estimated that Mr. Bloomberg got 48 percent support among Democrats to Mr. Ferrer's 50 percent.
An analysis of the results by Professor Mollenkopf for The New York Times, on the basis of census population figures in fairly homogenous Assembly districts and a sample of smaller election districts that are even more uniform, found that about half of black voters voted for Mr. Bloomberg. Only 5 percent of that group supported Mr. Giuliani in 1993, 20 percent backed him in 1997, and 25 percent voted for Mr. Bloomberg in 2001. (A much higher proportion supported another Republican, John V. Lindsay, in 1969, but he was running on the Liberal line and against two more conservative candidates.)
Mr. Bloomberg lost Harlem but still carried a respectable 45 percent of the vote there. He did best among blacks in middle-class neighborhoods generally and among Caribbean voters. In other largely black areas, he carried the entire 29th Assembly District in southeastern Queens, including parts of St. Albans and Laurelton, by 9,412 to 7,261, according to unofficial returns, and edged Mr. Ferrer in several largely Caribbean districts in central Brooklyn.
Well, let's face it, that is not sufficient evidence to draw those conclusions. Let's repeat what should have been said in the first graf - there was NO EXIT polling!
In 2001, Bloomberg received 745,000 votes. In 2005, 723,000 votes. A 22,000 less. So turnout was way down. Not surprising considering the result was a foregone conclusion. Did this supress minority voting more than other groups? Who knows? No exit polling was done.
More on the flip.
Here is the part of the story
that Sam Roberts won't tell you:
In the 2001 election, the white vote was down to 52 percent and the Catholic vote was down to 20 percent.
How did Bloomberg win that year? He beat Green among whites. He won 25% of the black vote. Most importantly He won 47% of the Hispanic vote. Even Sam Roberts gauges Bloomberg's support among Hispanics at under 30 percent this year.
Let's accept the idea that Bloomberg captured 45% of the African-American vote, up from 25%. African-Americans accounted for about 28% of the voting electorate in 1993, when Dinkins ran, meaning the number was at its peak. I think it is fairer to think that it was around 25% this year.
That would mean that Bloomberg's increase in margin from his projected improvement in the African-American vote would account for about 5% of the increased margin (from 50% to 55%). But wait, he lost 20% among Hispanics. That must have cost him a couple of points in his margin right?
Ah, the elephant in the room - Bloomberg substantially increased his margin among White voters! Why did Bloomberg swamp Ferrer? I think, and I accept it is conjecture, as Sam Roberts did not, it was because of his substantial increase in white votes.
Did Bloomberg fight Ferrer to a draw among minority voters? No, even Sam Roberts accepts that that is not true. Ferrer won among minority voters. Bloomberg SWAMPED Ferrer among White voters. That is the real story of the NYC Mayoral race.
Mark Green lost in 2001 because he did not do as well as he should have among minority voters. If he had held minority voters to traditional Democratic margins, he would be Mayor.
Freddy Ferrer did not have a chance because he got SWAMPED among white voters. Sure he did not do as well as he should have among Afircan-American voters, and thus would have fallen short anyway. But he was not in the game because of his performance among White Democrats.
People can search for the reasons why that is. I won't fight that battle again. But the NYTimes story today is a complete crock. And ignores what really happened.
Finally, this is no reflection on Bloomberg, who has been honorable in not engaging in race baiting, the way Rudy Giuliani did. He has been a decent mayor and appears to be a decent man. My point relates to the actions of voters.