By IVAN PEREIRA
The presidential cash war has split Manhattan right down the middle.
The top four New York neighborhoods that have contributed to the $6.5 million haul for the commander in chief's campaign so far were on the West Side, while the $5.2 million given to Romney came entirely from East Side residents.
Political pundits say the borough's 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 roster 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. Roughly $101,000, in fact, was given to the president from residents of the San Remo building on Central Park West, according to the New York Times.
The other side of the island is also home to many affluent New Yorkers, like Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers, and hedge fund manager John Paulson."The number of Republicans is dwindling in number [in the city] but their checkbooks aren't dwindling," said Democratic political consultant Evan Stavisky.
Political consultant Andrew Moesel said the red and blue geographic split has been around for the last 30 years, but both candidates are more actively tapping into the Big Apple's piggy bank this election season.
Obama has had more than 37 fundraisers in the city since April 2011, raking in close to $20 million.. Romney, who has made far fewer public appearances in Gotham, 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 donators have been targets for Occupy Wall Street protests in the past, Moesel said that the political divide has been subdued.
"I don't think they'll [Republicans and Democrats] be running across Central Park into battle any time soon," he said.
(with Amanda T. Rodriguez)
Half of the top ten zip codes contributing to President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's campaigns come from Manhattan. Here's the break down according to the Federal Election Commission.
UWS 10024 $1,580,879
UWS 10023 $1,375,482
Chelsea 10011 $1,358,956
UWS 10025 $1,308,721
UES 10021 $959,476
UES 10021 $1,307,494
UES 10065 $998,874
Midtown East 10022 $961,053
UES 10128 $960,269
UES 10028 $928,887