By Maria Rocha-Buschel
On Tuesday, democratic voters in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village overwhelmingly chose Hillary Clinton, with the former Secretary of State getting 63 percent of the vote in the community compared to Bernie Sanders’ 39 percent.
Election data from the New York Times reported similar citywide results, which had Clinton with 63 percent of the vote and Sanders with 37 percent.
Meanwhile, though the numbers showed a wide margin for Clinton, voters who spoke with T&V on Primary Day seemed less definitive about their decisions.
One Stuyvesant Town resident and poll worker said that it almost came down to “eeny, meeny, miny, mo” for her in terms of picking the best Democratic candidate but the recent debate forced her to look more specifically at some issues, which swayed her towards Clinton.
“She’s kind of a hawk, which is a big problem for me, but she’s been fighting the good fight for a long time,” said the resident, who did not want to be named. She said that she was convinced by articles written by former Sanders supporters on why they were no longer voting for him, in particular a piece from social activist Tom Hayden, found when she did more extensive research following the debate.
“I probably would have decided by flipping a coin, which I don’t like to do, but the Brooklyn debate solidified it for me,” she added. “I’ve been a Bernie fan from the beginning. Both he and (Massachusetts Senator) Liz Warren are great, but (Clinton) has been around these people for years, working in Washington for decades. She knows how to do this.”
Terry Brennan, a former journalist that lives on East 22nd Street at Second Avenue who was resting and chatting with fellow voters outside the poll site at 360 First Avenue, agreed that Sanders has good ideas but was not necessarily the best choice for president.
“I’m glad Bernie Sanders emerged,” he said. “He raised important issues but I don’t think he has the knowledge and depth that Clinton does.”
Peter Cooper Village resident and attorney Jeff Kupferberg said that he respected Sanders but was more convinced by Clinton’s experience as well.
“I think it’s the energy about Sanders that’s appealing,” he said. “That’s nice and exciting, restructuring the system, but it’s not that simple. I agreed with Sanders as a senator but as president, tearing everything down isn’t realistic. The economy needs restructuring but we didn’t get where we are in a day so we’re not going to fix it in a day either. There’s a lot of voter dissatisfaction and I hope we don’t waste it on guys who don’t know how to implement it.”
The Stuyvesant Town resident and poll worker also noted that she had serious doubts about how Sanders would execute his plans.
“I want single-payer healthcare more than anything but the numbers in Sanders’ plan don’t add up,” she said. “Only one economist (out of 31) said that single-payer healthcare finances itself and that’s troubling.”
Another Stuyvesant Town resident said that she voted for Clinton without hesitation, “because of her experience and her knowledge,” she said. “Republicans are scared of her and her ability.”
Brennan expressed a similar sentiment but said that the issue was more related to gender. “Men are afraid of confident women,” he said. “I don’t think she’s nasty like a lot of Republicans portray her.”
One Peter Cooper Village resident however, said he was voting for Sanders.
“He’s the first politician I’ve seen who tells the truth,” said David Chowes. “Hillary shades everything.”
Democratic voters far outnumbered Republicans in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village by almost 4,000, with Republican candidate Ted Cruz polling in the single digits in some election districts. Throughout the city, Donald Trump took a more commanding lead with 64 percent of the vote, with John Kasich trailing at 22 percent and Cruz at 14. Former Ohio governor John Kasich proved to be more popular in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper, managing to get 41 percent of voters, but Donald Trump still came out on top there as well with 45 percent. Cruz’s showing in ST/PCV reflected his popularity throughout the city, as he also received 14 percent of the vote in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper.
T&V also ran into a lone Trump supporter, who cast his vote on Tuesday morning at 360 First Avenue.
“He has his idiosyncrasies but (Hillary Clinton) is worse than Bill,” Stuyvesant Town resident Joe H. said. “She is going to ruin the economy.”
Lifelong Stuyvesant Town resident Michael “Mikey” Cole got a shout-out from Clinton during her victory speech on Tuesday night after it was announced she won the Primary in New York. Clinton had visited Cole’s ice cream shop on Avenue A, Mikey Likes It, the day before the election. In her speech, she praised his hard work in opening the business despite his short stint at Riker’s Island.
“Mikey spent six months in Riker’s for a low level drug offense and found out how hard it is for people to find jobs when they get out,” she said in her speech. “Mikey managed to start his own ice cream shop. (He) is one of the many reasons we have to reform our criminal justice system and ban the box so others have a fair chance to succeed.”
The shop posted a photo of Clinton’s visit, wishing her luck in the election. “Your interest in everyday people is much appreciated,” the caption said.
Clinton was also appreciative that Cole had created an ice cream flavor just for her, dubbed “Victory.” Clinton is reportedly a chocolate ice cream aficionado so the treat includes a double chocolate waffle stuffed with crushed Oreo cookie pieces, topped with milk chocolate ice cream, mini semi sweet chocolate chips and mini chocolate covered marshmallows, covered in handmade chocolate whipped cream and completed with a chocolate covered cherry.
“I highly recommend it,” Clinton said. “I couldn’t stop myself from eating it.”