Obama Clobbers Romney 9-1 In City

Thomas MacMillan PhotoMelissa Bailey PhotoConventional wisdom: President Obama’s voters lost their enthusiasm this time.

Reality on the ground in New Haven: More people voted for him this year than in his history-making 2008 election. And African-American voters waited as long as an hour and a half to cast their ballots.

That picture emerges from the certified final results from Tuesday’s election.

It showed that 39,865 New Haveners in all cast their ballots for Democrat Obama, who won a second term nationwide. That figure narrowly topped the 39,112 New Haveners who voted for Obama in 2008 when he became the country’s first African-American president.

Obama clobbered Republican Mitt Romney by a margin of 9 to 1 in the city. Romney collected 4,430 votes.

The margin and the raw numbers re-cemented the reputation of New Haven’s labor-led Democratic vote-pulling operation, which has grown in prowess over the past two years, providing large, lopsided margins of victory for statewide candidates. On Tuesday, New Haven delivered a 30,000-vote margin of victory for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy, despite Republican opponent Linda McMahon’s creative and expensive attempts to peel off urban votes. Murphy beat McMahon 34,505 to 4,465 in New Haven.

The Registrar of Voters office released the full results, including absentee and overseas ballots and initially undecipherable ballots, late Wednesday afternoon. Click here to read the results.

Among the highlights, besides the Obama and Murphy results:

• Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson pulled in 229 votes in the New Haven vote, Independent Rocky Anderson 119.

• Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Paul Passarelli pulled 327 new votes.

• A ballot resolution to advise the U.S. government to transfer military spending to job-creation, infrastructure, and “pressing human needs,” passed easily: 23,398 to 4,152.

Take that, Pentagon!

Hope Was Still Alive

Thomas MacMillan PhotoOne of the more striking scenes was in Newhallville, where all day voters waited in long lines to cast ballots at the Ward 20 Lincoln-Bassett School polling spot (pictured).

Predominantly African-American neighborhoods, like Newhallville, traditionally have among the lowest turnouts in New Haven elections. Ward 20 ended up giving Obama by far his highest vote total in the city Tuesday, 2,008. (Romney’s ward total: 31.) Ward 20 had the third-highest overall turnout of voters, 2,042. (Westville Ward 25 had 2,175; East Rock’s Ward 10 had 2,138.)

During the early-morning vote rush, while other high-voting wards had waits of 30 to 60 minutes, the wait extended 90 minutes at Lincoln-Bassett. The wait remained as long as 30 minutes during the mid-day down time. It went back up during the final after-work voting hours.

As the polls were about to close, at least one voter rushed over in pajamas for a chance to cast a ballot.

The pundits kept saying all fall that black voters had lost their ardor for Obama. They apparently didn’t speak to the voters of Ward 20.

“It’s Obama that’s got them fired up,” the ward’s alderwoman, Delphine Clyburn, said at the polls. Clyburn, a union organizer, was among the labor-backed candidates elected to New Haven’s Board of Aldermen last fall; she has continued to organize a grassroots base in her ward, as evidenced by Tuesday’s results.

One 54-year-old man showed up to vote for the first time in his life. The voter (who declined to give his name) is on disability. “I just want Obama back in” because of the support he has shown for programs for the poor, the man said. He spoke of qualifying for a free phone under Medicare. “I ain’t never seen a president do that before,” he said.

Thomas MacMillan PhotoI call him the Clean-Up Man,” Aliecia Winfrey (pictured), a 46-year-old public-school paraprofessional, said of Obama as she waited on line along with her 22-year-old son, who was voting for the first time. Winfrey said she has the same enthusiasm for Obama as she had in 2008.

Obama “deserves to finish the job he started,” agreed Renee Mercer, a 47-year-old nurse.

The Center Grows

In some black and Latino neighborhoods, voting total dropped in New Haven. While the overall number of voters slightly rose from 2008, the turnout was technically smaller—because of the number of registered voters grew. That was the result of several aggressive registration drives in the last two months of the campaign, lifting New Haven from around 63,000 registered voters to over 71,000, the highest figure in two decades.

After a day of parsing the numbers, Mayor John DeStefano arrived at two main conclusions about Tuesday’s official totals:

• The citywide totals were roughly the same as in 2008—yet they were distributed differently. The largest shift, the biggest spike in votes, came in the center of the city, represented by parts of Wards 6, 7, 8, and 9.

The reflected the “explosion of the center city” in New Haven, DeStefano said. “I think the city’s changing.” More empty nesters are moving to the center of town, as are young professionals.

That mirrors a nationwide trend, he noted, and a second major observation about Tuesday’s results:

• Cities are back politically. In Connecticut, they’re playing a big role in electing Democrats. Democrats emerged from Tuesday’s election holding all five U.S. House seats, both U.S. Senate seats, the governor’s office, all other statewide constitutional office, and healthy majorities in both houses of the state legislature.

While New Haven Democrats have local factional feuds, in state and national elections they speak with a single strong voice. “That’s not just happening here,” DeStefano observed. “That’s increasingly happening around the state. Large population centers for state and national politics are dreams for Democrats.”

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posted by: Anderson Scooper on November 6, 2012  9:05pm

2008 & 2010 results can be found here:

In 2010 Blumenthal received 21,324 votes in New Haven to McMahon’s 3,266, for a 18,058 vote margin.

In 2008 Obama rolled over McCain 39,112 to 5,098, for a margin of 34,004.

What will today’s turnout look like? And how will it compare?

posted by: HhE on November 6, 2012  9:48pm

Well, I am one of the 46.

posted by: DumDum on November 6, 2012  11:20pm

Huh, I guess when you vote for a third party your vote truly does not count?!

posted by: robn on November 7, 2012  12:27am

whats the historical turnout?

posted by: Joe City on November 7, 2012  12:08pm

What was the result of the ballot question?

[Editor: They tell us we’ll have official final numbers by the end of today.]

posted by: Charl on November 7, 2012  12:57pm

Shame on NewHavenIndependent…..(well, truthfully, maybe the NHI did not receive the 3rd party votes)

Where is the number of votes for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate?

I know for 100% fact he received at least one vote from a registered voter in New Haven.

Glossing over the complete results, i.e.- not displaying the number of votes that all candidates received (read: Only Democrats and Republicans) is something I expect from CNN, Foxnews, NYT, etc. 

So, if you could wrangle that information up, please post it New Haven Independent!  If it is not available from the Registrar….why not?!?

[Editor: I’m sorry we couldn’t get more complete results last night. We did the best we could with the resources. We are told we’ll get the full report, including minor-party candidates and absentees and the ballot question, by day’s end.]

posted by: Charl on November 7, 2012  3:56pm

I understand it was not 100% in the control of the NHI to publish the complete results. 

But, why would the registrar only release the results of voting for the major party candidates?

It makes absolutely no sense to me.  Would the excellent investigative journalists with the New Haven Independent please inquire as to why only a truncated version of the voting results were released?

It is not exactly disenfranchisement, but it is certainly leaning in that direction….

In my opinion, publishing data like this (without the results of 3rd party candidates) does a major disservice to all the citizens.

This is why there is such an A vs B paradigm in the world today, especially in American politics: The third, fourth, and fifth options are rarely mentioned, and certainly not considered. 

Please consider my words, New Haven Independent.  The NHI is the last bastion of true investigative journalism which asks the really difficult questions, strives to expose the truth no matter who stands in its way, presents the “information from the North, East, West, South, a.k.a. the news” in an objective manner, and is not beholden to corrupt, wicked corporations who seek to squelch the truth!

Please, NHI continue your good work, and please keep in mind the critical role you play in the lives of the citizens of the greater New Haven community.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 7, 2012  7:39pm

The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.”
― Gore Vidal

The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”
― Karl Marx

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 7, 2012  10:17pm

Gays and Hispanics will make gains while Blacks become increasingly irrelevant.You get the government you deserve.

posted by: Brutus2011 on November 7, 2012  10:57pm

I agree with your last post, 3/5.

Increasingly irrelevant, how true.

posted by: SaveOurCity on November 8, 2012  9:56am

mind boggling that people could live through the downward spiral of the past 4 years and decide “Give me more of that!”.  Based upon the reported numbers it appears that we are moving away from Dr King’s vision of having one judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  It seems that many are willing to accept a president that looks a certain way even if he cannot effectively govern and will not tell the truth.

posted by: anonymous on November 8, 2012  11:11am

SaveOurCity, you think people voted for Obama because they are Black? Newsflash: In CT, white people mostly voted for Obama, too.

The vast majority of Americans don’t want to lower taxes on people making millions of dollars per year, and balance the budget by raising taxes on tens of millions of children through elimination of “loopholes” (also known as tax credits for children). But that’s exactly what the GOP plan is—and probably what will happen, unless the Democrats and Obama begin to show some backbone. 

This seems a more likely explanation for why most human beings voted for Obama.

posted by: westville man on November 8, 2012  12:01pm

SaveOurCity-  wow!  did you make the same argument or reach the same conclusion about Bush when he was re-elected? 
Seems as if all you see about Obama is color.

posted by: streever on November 8, 2012  2:06pm

I’d like to advance the same theory about Romney. 8 years of the same policies under George Bush should have convinced everyone to vote Obama.

posted by: Charl on November 8, 2012  2:10pm

Please, New Haven Independent, do not forget to obtain and post the complete results.

Why would the Registrar not release the full voting results?

I would imagine with the scantron (electronic) voting machines, it is just a matter of sending the full file.

In fact, I am starting to believe that the Registrar purposefully did not release the complete results.

Please do not let this go undocumented, New Haven Independent, I implore you.

[Editor’s note: We have the full results, but in a fuzzy photocopy, not in electronic form. We’re working on it.]

posted by: Melissa Bailey on November 8, 2012  4:59pm

Hi Folks—
For those of you who were asking, I just posted the final election results as a spreadsheet.
Click here to read them.
Thanks for your patience!

posted by: Kevin on November 8, 2012  5:18pm

DeStefano’s comparison of turnout by ward is inaccurate because of redistricting. For example, I was in ward 9 in 2008 and am now in ward 9, without having moved.

posted by: SaveOurCity on November 8, 2012  7:39pm

I appreciate the help from those who responded to my earlier post - I wagered a friend of mine that the only responses I would get would be reworked campaign lies - no cogent arguments or verifiable facts.  So, tonight I get confirmation of of my theory that the left has an aversion to truth and a free dinner.  Thanks!

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 8, 2012  10:52pm

Now this speaks the truth.

Doing Us Proud: Black America Has Lost Its Moral Compass
Wed, 11/07/2012 - 14:52 — Bruce A. Dixon


How Ghetto Politics Has Outlived the Ghetto, and Still Holds All Of Us Back
Wed, 10/17/2012 - 12:20 — Bruce A. Dixon