Voters Split Over Bloomberg
From The World Journal
November 17, 2003

A latest opinion poll showed Asian American voters are divided in their views of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s performance: 25 percent of them said he did a good job; 24 percent said his work was not satisfactory; 45 percent did not say either way.

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) surveyed about 1,000 voters at eight polling places in primarily Chinese communities after the Nov. 4 election. New York City’s mainstream media conducted several opinion polls when Mayor Bloomberg proposed controversial policies such as the smoking ban and the budget cut, but none of those polls reflected the views of Asian voters, said AALDEF Director Margaret Fung.

AALDEF did a similar survey when former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani was seeking re-election, during which Asian voters showed overwhelming fondness of Giuliani.

The survey after Nov. 4 also showed that 31 percent of the voters did not vote on the most controversial ballot Question 3. In other words, only two thirds cast ballot on the nonpartisan election referendum, and the result was divided: 52 percent voted against it; 48 percent voted for it.

Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to eliminate partisan primaries in New York City has triggered great controversy. Supporters said the measure will help break down partisan barriers and increase the chance of talented people being elected. Opponents said without partisan primaries and support, the poor do not get involved in the campaign, while the rich have a better chance of winning.

Fung said the apathy of Asian voters to the referendum was not unique, and that many New York voters did not cast ballot on the question. She said this showed referendum might not be appropriate for getting the measure passed, and that voters need to be more informed of the measure and its implications on the city’s politics. Many Manhattan voters, including those in Chinatown, received glossy fliers before the election, urging them to vote for the measure. The fliers included pictures of people from different communities, including Margaret Chin, a former City Council candidate.

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Translated from Chinese by Shasha Dai

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