The office of Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny released a study over the weekend (translated in full from Russian to English here) showing that Democratic Councilman Lew Fidler and Republican David Storobin essentially broke even among the Russian community in their Mar. 20 special election — but that Fidler got trounced in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods that were outside his Council district.
So no matter how the counting of paper ballots ends up in the closely contested race (Storobin currently leads by 119 votes), the data would seem to add fuel to the idea that Fidler would be better off challenging State Sen. Marty Golden — whose new Senate district contains much of Fidler’s current Council district — rather than running in the new “Super-Jewish” Senate district this fall. A Golden challenge is a prospect Fidler has been discussing with advisers for weeks.
Brook-Krasny’s study showed that Storobin more than doubled Fidler’s vote total in heavily Orthodox Borough Park, while handily defeating Storobin in Fidler’s own Council district.
Brook-Krasny goes out of his way to note that his data is based on information from the Board of Elections, not upon his own spin. Clearly, Brook-Krasny, a key Russian-American supporter of Fidler, has a vested interest in showing that Fidler performed decently against Storobin, who is Russian-American, in that community.
The opposite spin is being put out by a local Russian-language radio station, DaNu Radio 87.7, which recently released its own exit-polling claiming that Russian-speaking voters broke for Storobin by a margin of 65 to 35 percent. The station is a competitor of a station own by Gregory Davidzon, a key Fidler supporter.
(A Facebook post by Brook-Krasny related to the study was noted this morning by the Politicker.)
Here’s an excerpt from the RUNY Web article on the Brook-Krasny release:
“In the part of the 46th Assembly district, which is represented by Alec Brook-Krasny, voter turnout was quite high. This part of the district includes neighborhoods populated mostly by Russian-speaking Americans: Brighton Beach, Beach Haven, Trump Village and Warbass Development. Here the votes are as follows: Lew Fidler – 1723; David Storobin - 1737. The numbers show the votes divided almost evenly, with a difference of just 14 votes.
Since in this district the voters were, almost certainly, Russian-speaking, we can safely state the fact that in the Russian-speaking community the popularity of both candidates is basically equal.
As for the 45th district, which boasted the highest voter turnout, Storobin has gathered 3638, and Fidler – 2753 votes. A quite large part of voters in the district are Jewish Orthodox.
The 47th district, which includes Bensonhurst with its large population of “Russians”, has brought Fidler 935 votes, and Storobin – 945. So, again basically even.
The 48th Assembly district, which includes Boro Park, a known Orthodox neighborhood, has shown support for David Storobin by giving him 1008 votes. Fidler has received 458 votes there, or less than a half.
The 59th district is Lew Fidler’s home turf. Voters there have unreservedly supported their City Council representative by giving him 1584 votes compared to only 614 – to his opponent. This balance clearly shows that Lew Fidler’s representation in the City Council hasn’t disappointed the population of his district, or they wouldn’t have voted for him during the Senate elections.
These numbers allow one to claim that the Russian-speakers’ votes for Lew Fidler and David Storobin are divided almost evenly. Storobin’s advantage of 119 votes after the preliminary count is due to the strong support from the Jewish Orthodox community.
This is the official statistics, supported by mathematics. There is no place here for fantasies and fiction. We can safely draw a conclusion: if David Storobin becomes a senator, his victory will hardly be owed to the Russian-speaking community.
There is a paradoxical situation here: Russian-speaking Storobin’s support came overwhelmingly from the Ultra-Orthodox, and not the Russian-American street.
Our question about who will gain from David Storobin’s victory was answered by the State Assembly member Alec Brook-Krasny: “My answer is clear: today the winner is not the Russian-speaking community, nor even the Orthodox, who were planning on electing their own Orthodox representative, but only David Storobin himself. Of course, he made his name in the elections, which is an achievement I congratulate him with.”
Alec Brook-Krasny also told us about his conversation with his Republican colleagues during the Vietnam Veterans Ceremony in Bay Ridge: “They reinforced my opinions on David Storobin’s role in these elections, opinions I presented in my latest RUNYweb.com interview. They do face a problem of what to do with Storobin afterwards.”
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