Southern Brooklyn

Poll Finds Generation Gap Emerging In Russian Vote

Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny speaking in front of Brighton Beach’s Shorefront Y (Source: Brook-Krasny’s office)

A new report in The Jewish Week finds increasing generational voting differences between older and younger Russian voters in Southern Brooklyn.

The report, which centers around a study by Sam Kliger, a Russian-born sociologist who analyzes the community, indicates that while older and elderly Russians vote predominantly Republican, the younger voting slice of the Russian block is more likely to be undecided and consequently, more open to the Democratic alternative.

While on a whole Kliger’s numbers show that the 350,000 strong Russian community based in New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and Northern and Central New Jersey are likely to vote for Republican Mitt Romney by a margin of 4-1, younger voters in this block (ages 18-35) are evenly split in the upcoming election.

In explaining the staunch loyalty of older Russians towards the Republican Party and Mitt Romney, the report indicates two main issues of vital importance; the support of Israel and the idea of “redistribution,” one of the loaded buzzwords central to the 2012 race.

For older Russians, many of them World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors, the perceived notion that the Republican Party is more staunchly loyal to Israel and tough on terrorists is of paramount importance. Also, the conjuring of any reminders of their days in the oppressive Soviet regime with talk of “redistribution of wealth” enlivens fears of a shift back to bleaker days.

In an interview, Republican State Senator David Storobin echoed these sentiments,

Older Russians — the ones who remember Soviet times — tend to be more conservative.” In light of those memories, he added, those elderly Jews view government as inefficient, corrupt and unresponsive.

What concerns or frustrates older Russian Jews, Storobin said, are terms like redistribution — “any slogan that’s the same as one used in the [former] Soviet Union.”

The emerging split of younger Russian voters from these hardline viewpoints seems to stem from a number of delicate factors brought on by fresher experiences and more open world views.

A discussion in the article with Democratic Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny illuminated this point,

Interviewed by phone, Brook-Krasny said he’s long predicted a 50-50 split among younger Russian-speaking Jews when it comes to presidential elections, followed in the near future by a majority of that population voting Democratic.

“The more educated people [in the community] get, the more liberal they vote,” the lawmaker said.

Whether or not Brook-Krasny’s belief that the majority of the voting block will eventually shift Democratic remains to be seen, but the local voting trends of the upcoming 2012 race might serve as an early indicator for future elections.

Comment policy


  1. Not true. Colin Powell, were he running, would have received an overwhelming majority of Russian elderly or not vote.
    Hakeem Jeffries also got votes of most Russians who are registered democrats.
    Obama, on the other hand sound very much like the soviet -style politician; his sound bytes are not different from the nonsense we heard back in Soviet Union.

  2. Younger Russians might be more open minded, meaning they don’t consider Obama a Muslim, as their older relatives do, but believe me openmindness does not translate into being democrats. Most Russians in their 20s and 30s are very much Republican leaning at least in the current election, and yes race plays a part in it like it or not.

  3. one would think that because of medicare and medicaid, ssi and other social programs, older russians would go and vote democratic. but no, they drink the kool-aid provided to them by RTN (which is funded by republicans) and vote against their own interests.
    Instead, and what RTN is so successful in doing, is playing up the racist p.o.v. and mesmerizing those whose understanding of the American political system is practically non-existant.
    No matter how many times i attempt to explain to my grandparents the way bills are passed, somehow it all turns to Iran against Israel and how Obama is a jihadi.

    The only real difference here between the young and the older generation is that one watches RTN, the other has access to other means of getting their information.

  4. It is total nonsense that RTN is funded by Republicans and is playing racist p.o.v., etc.

    The owner of RTN is American Reform rabbi Mark Golub who is very liberal and strong Obama supporter.

    I am a host of the weekly TV show there and I am a moderate Democrat. So, do not blame RTN which is the only American-based Russian language TV channel.

  5. Russians on MEDICARE, That is too funny. Senior Russian immigrants are social parasites who are on MEDICAID. FREE FREE FREE. They get free ambulette service to the doctors, several times a week. Sometimes everyday. We pay taxes and they reap the rewards. Something is very wrong with the system. Most probably aren’t even citizens, since they CANNOT SPEAK ENGLISH. If ROMNEY is elected, he will most probably cut a lot of funding and these SOCIAL PARASITES WILL BE UP SHITS CREEK!!!!!!!!!

  6. Jeffries won because it was a race between a black guy (Jeffries) and a REALLY REALLY black guy who all politicians made a point to decry. Colin Powell’s respected for his army experience but would an older Russian voter vote for him over a white dude? Not so sure.

  7. When someone posts the truth, you delete it. You should be ashamed of yourself. Yet, some moron posts F–K Israel with UC after the F and it remains.
    What the hell is wrong with you??

  8. This is a liberal blog, if you want to shi! on whites and Jews then all are welcome, however say something negative about blacks or another “disadvantaged” minority and prepare to have your comment removed. It’s the liberal version of free speech.

Comments are closed.