New York’s Asian voters rejected Dems and backed Zeldin and GOP on crime and education – New York Post | Team Cansler

New York’s once blue-minded Asian American voters – disgusted by crime, discrimination and poor education – have turned full force against the Democratic Party, a post-analysis of the election results shows.

In a surprising development, Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin won a majority in Asia’s 40th Assembly District in Flushing/Bayside Queens by 7,819 votes to 7,301 for the incumbent, ahead of victorious Democratic governor Kathy Hochul.

Zeldin also defeated Hochul in the heavily Asian 47th and 49th Congregation districts of south Brooklyn.

The Long Island GOP congressman won 23 mostly Asian constituencies in the two assembly precincts combined — including Chinese-populated Sunset Park, the Post constituency review found. Zeldin even carried a constituency in Chinatown – ED 16 – by 187 votes to 153 for Hochul.

“Safety is my top priority. The crime rate on the streets of Chinatown is growing too dramatically. What the Republican Party is proposing is solving the problem of public safety and high crime,” said a Manhattan resident Lili, who also cited inflation and education as issues that prompted her to vote Republican.

“We are Asian American citizens, but we are not treated equally. … I’m very disappointed in the Democratic Party at the moment. I hope all of New York could blush.”

Lee Zeldin won 23 mostly Asian constituencies combined in the 47th and 49th Congregations.
Twitter/Lee Zeldin

In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2 to 1, Hochul won the election by just 6 percentage points over the intractable Zeldin. Her victory was fueled by 90 percent support from black voters, but Zeldin made significant inroads among Orthodox Jewish and Latino voters in addition to Asian voters.

Winning GOP candidates said they benefited from Asian discontent on the once-solid Democratic turf.

“It comes down to public safety and education. People see crime every day. I heard it knocking on doors,” said Lester Chang, the Republican nominee who will succeed 36-year-old veteran Democratic Rep. Peter Abbate in the 49th House.

Scenes from an anti-Asian hate demonstration.
“The crime rate on the streets of Chinatown is getting too dramatic. What the Republican Party is proposing is to solve the problem of public safety and high crime,” said a Zeldin supporter.
Christopher Sadowski

And while Zeldin carried the 40th AD in Flushing/Bayside, Democratic Rep. Ron Kim managed to simply pass in his own district race and win re-election by just 550 votes — or 52% to 48% — against Republican rival Sharon Liao to win.

He said his constituents felt New York’s Democratic rule had not responded to their concerns.

“For several years, my constituents have felt physically and economically insecure. A group of immigrants were told that if you work hard, you will get ahead. That is no longer the case. The leadership of the Democratic Party has not taken these concerns seriously. … There is a lot of frustration and anger in the Asian American community,” Kim said.

Zeldin pendant.
The Asian community’s marked shift away from the Democratic Party to the Republicans began last year.
Twitter/Lee Zeldin

Zeldin has also overtaken Hochul in the Asian community. Shortly after announcing his candidacy last year, he met with Asian leaders in Flushing and his campaign kept the public outreach steady, said Yiakin Chu, co-founder and president of the new bipartisan group Asian Wave Alliance.

She said Zeldin supporters had flooded WeChat, the social media app used by Chinese-speaking residents, while the Hochul campaign was virtually absent.

Democratic policies promoting cashless bail and moving away from performance-based education programs have alienated Asian voters, Chu said.

Kathy Hochul.
Governor Kathy Hochul won the election ahead of Zeldin by just 6 percentage points.
Christopher Sadowski

“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 introduction of congestion fees – higher tolls – for access to Manhattan’s CBD and the replacement of the prison complex on Rikers Island with smaller prisons in Chinatown and the outskirts, a controversial policy advocated by being pushed by the Democrats.

Chu and others in the Asian community noted that the significant shift from the Democratic Party to the Republicans began last year when GOP mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa swept many Asian counties amid a backlash to the push by former outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, Relaxing the merit-based school wore admissions policies as well as pandemic restrictions.

Lawmaker Kim also said Asian parents are tired of pitting their children against Black and Hispanic students to get into strict schools.

“Asian American families don’t want to get stuck in the rat race. It’s the Hunger Games. We’re not building enough technical schools and gifted schools,” he said.

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