By Simone Weichselbaum / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
It’s the uptown version of the purple state.
Dominicans are gnawing away at the once-stable black power base as new voting trends show Latinos throughout upper Manhattan — and especially in Harlem’s emerging battleground pockets — are flocking to the polls in increasing numbers.
A rising number of Hispanics are registering to vote in neighborhoods that were traditionally dominated by black residents.
The shifts are painting a new political landscape north of W. 125th St. — in precincts that helped David Dinkins, Basil Paterson, Percy Sutton and Charles Rangel build New York’s first black political stronghold.
The contested districts — which encompass Hamilton Heights, Sugar Hill and the Harlem-Washington Heights border — could be the decisive factor in Rangel’s bid to serve a 23rd term in Congress, experts said.
“You have to pay attention to the Dominicans. It would be a mistake not to,” said veteran Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf.