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Mitt Romney, Barack Obama split Manhattan

The presidential cash war has split Manhattan right down the middle.

Half of the top 10 ZIP codes that contribute to President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney are in Manhattan, according to Federal Election Commission data.

The top four New York neighborhoods that have so far contributed $6.5 million to the commander-in-chief were on the West Side, while the $5.2 million given to Romney came entirely from East Side residents.

Political pundits say the borough schism doesn't surprise them.

"People who live on the East Side live a more sedate lifestyle and tend to vote Republican," former Mayor Ed Koch said. "Those who live on the West Side are more funky and liberal."

The list of politically vocal and active Manhattan celebrities backs up Koch's sentiment.

West Side residents who have supported Obama in the past include Yoko Ono and Sarah Jessica Parker. A New York Times report said roughly $101,000 was given to the president from residents of the San Remo building, a twin-tower landmark that looms over Central Park West.

The other side of the island is home to many affluent New Yorkers, like Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers and hedge fund manager John Paulson. All of those residents would greatly appreciate Romney winning the election, according to political experts.

"The number of Republicans is dwindling in number [in the city] but their checkbooks aren't dwindling," Democratic political consultant Evan Stavisky said.

Political consultant Andrew Moesel said the political boundaries have been around for the past 30 years but both candidates are more actively tapping into the Big Apple's piggy bank this election season.

Obama has visited the city more than 37 times since April 2011 and raked in close to $20 million so far. Romney, who has made far fewer public appearances in the city, is on track to out-raise John McCain, who took in $13 million from the city in 2008.

"New York City is the political ATM for politicians across the country," Moesel said.

Although many of the East Side contributors were targets for Occupy Wall Street protests in the past, Moesel predicted the election battle would be subdued.

"I don't think they'll be running across Central Park into battle any time soon," he said.

With Amanda T. Rodriguez


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