The Five Borough Ballot: We Cover the Election. Why Not Cover the Voters?

February 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Nine months out of the 2013 election—the first without an incumbent mayor since 2001—the field of candidates for citywide office has largely taken shape, and the media and pollsters have leapt ahead to handicap the races’ outcome.

Consultants have already done their utmost to sow the narratives they hope will grow into victory in the primary and general elections, and insiders have already discarded a host of hopefuls as impossibilities, while elevating others to the status of frontrunners.

But for all of the insights bandied about endlessly in the 24-hour news cycle—the fund-raising totals, the endorsements, the numbers, the thundering roar of the horse race—what do the residents of the five boroughs actually think about the elections that will determine who governs them for the next four years?

Are the candidates who are so familiar to the chattering classes the same leaders who are being talked about in the private conversations of regular New Yorkers? Are New Yorkers even aware that a major election is coming?

In order to gain a microcosmic perspective on the actual opinions of New Yorkers about the upcoming election, City & State and City Limits, in partnership with MetroFocus, present a new series: “The Five Borough Ballot.”

From now until November we will be following the election from the point of view of five locations: a deli in Manhattan, a NYCHA building in Brooklyn, a bar in Staten Island, a restaurant in the Bronx and a block of homes in Queens.


Bronx: Mott Haven Looks to Activists, Not Pols, For Progress

We open an election-year series with a trip to a restaurant in the South Bronx, where gun violence and wage inequality are what people are talking about—and where there’s little confidence that politicians are listening.



Brooklyn: Brownsville: As ’13 Race Looms, Split Opinion on Bloomberg

In the first installment of our election-year series, a visit with the Bingo players at a senior center in Brownsville, where opinions on the mayor are all over the game board.



Manhattan: The Five Borough Ballot – Upper West Side, Manhattan: Artie’s Deli

The Upper West Side is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city, a reliable bastion of liberal politics, home to Jerry Seinfeld, Eric Schneiderman and Scott Stringer alike.

It’s also home to the city’s best delis and diners.

Queens: The Five Borough Ballot – Bayside, Queens: 215th Street and 48th Avenue

On this leafy street in northeast Queens, asking questions about who should be New York City’s next mayor invariably turn to the current mayor—and that’s about it.



Staten Island: The Five Borough Ballot – Tottenville, Staten Island: W’s Bar & Restaurant

W’s Bar & Restaurant is easy to miss if you’re an outsider driving through this suburban enclave of Staten Island—the southernmost section of the borough, a stone’s throw from New Jersey across the Hudson River.


Intrigued?  Continuing reading about the Five Borough Ballot project on City & State and City Limits.

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MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Rosalind P. Walter, Jody and John Arnhold and the Metropolitan Media Fund. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America, your retirement company.

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