Let’s Talk About Politics


For the last five years or so, we’ve felt compelled in pretty much every Owners Magazine to ask the landlords of New York at least one question about what they think of the most prominent of their own: Donald John Trump.

Most of the names in this magazine have met the president. Shmoozed (or been shmoozed by) the president. Done business with the president. It doesn’t take too many after-work drinks before a few of the off-off-off-the-record stories about a pre-POTUS Trump break out and opinions start being rattled off.

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While real estate owners are not what one would call the most progressive or “woke” group in town, the guy who etched his name on Wall Street and Fifth Avenue, and Hudson Square, and the Upper West Side, and Turtle Bay has aroused passions on both sides of the political aisle. (And, sometimes, despite being on the same aisle.)

And because the Owners Magazine is a chance to detect something beneath the surface (and because it’s a question owners immediately get nervous answering), we asked owners who they’re voting for.

Some simply ignore the question. Others are made so uncomfortable that they don’t fill out the survey. (This year, an owner agreed to fill out the survey and then proceeded to ghost us when he saw the Biden vs. Trump question.) And plenty will go to their safe space: i.e., Mike Bloomberg. (Give it up, people. He didn’t win.)

In 2016, we thought we had a reasonably high response rate when we asked, “Clinton or Trump.” Thirty-seven percent of those we polled said they supported Hillary Clinton; eight percent supported Trump. The rest spoiled their ballots.

And there were plenty of people this year who declined to answer the question directly (even though the question included a third answer, Kanye West).

“They’re all such great candidates,” said Craig Deitelzweig, president and CEO of Marx Realty & Improvement Co., in what we have to assume was a moment of facetiousness, “it’s just so hard to choose!”

“Next question,” Meredith Marshall, co-founder and managing partner of BRP Companies, replied.

“Or, is the more interesting question: Harris or Pence?” asked Daniel Moore, president and CEO of Rockefeller Group.

Some of those who declined to answer directly were probably a little more committed to one candidate or the other than they reveal. (You can look up everyone’s donations online if you’re truly curious.)

But we’re happy to report that, this year, more than half gave us a direct answer.

Joe Biden remains the heavy favorite with New York City landlords by a massive plurality. Forty-five percent are supporting the former vice president — eight points better than Hillary Clinton. Only six percent are openly supporting Trump.

“There is no other option today for this country and this city,” Jonathan Kaufman Iger, CEO of Sage Realty, said of Biden.

“A Trump win is a continued assault on cities, especially New York City,” Winston Fisher, partner at Fisher Brothers and CEO of AREA15, said. “I believe Vice President Biden will be much more helpful to state and local budgets, and will help grow the economy responsibly.”

“If Biden doesn’t win,” said David Kramer, “I’m going to have to commute between the Hudson Companies and whatever country my wife moves to.”