Despite the trend of Filipino Americans largely voting Democratic in recent decades, President Donald Trump continues to have a band of supporters among the segment in the community who identify as conservatives.
Heading into November 3, Fil-Am Republicans across the country, who brand themselves as among the “silent majority,” are continuing to ride the red wave in support of another four years under a Trump administration and are defying the common notion that the community leans left.
“There’s great enthusiasm for the re-election of President Donald Trump – much has to do with his clear record and contrast against Joe Biden,” Rudy Pamintuan, a Las Vegas resident who was part of the Trump transition team and served under George W. Bush’s advisory commission on AAPIs, told the Asian Journal.
For Pamintuan, the economy, school choice and law and order are among the issues he’s particularly concerned about. His message to fellow Fil-Am voters: take a look at Trump’s record in the past three years compared to Joe Biden’s as senator and then vice president.
“At a time of crisis, two different visions of America are evident. President Trump offers a vision of American strength, the American Dream and American exceptionalism. Joe Biden offers an apologetic America – putting American families last in favor of socialist policies…America needs four more years of President Donald Trump and the silent majority will enthusiastically re-elect him,” he added.
The scaled-down Republican National Convention, which was supposed to be a large spectacle in Charlotte, North Carolina, is underway this week as President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were formally renominated by the party on Monday, August 24.
The event comes during another recession and as over 178,000 Americans have been killed by the COVID-19 pandemic and 5.7 million more have been infected.
A step further for the Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, COVID-19 has revealed another pandemic of racism with the reports of anti-Asian hate crimes nationwide.
As a Pinay millennial in Las Vegas, many would assume that Lisa Noeth would lean Democratic. However, growing up as a second-generation Filipino American, the Republican Party’s platform and values have attracted her.
“The Republican Party’s values of faith, family, self-reliance, and economic opportunities for all Americans resonate within me as these values are also core values of the Filipino community,” Noeth, a small business owner, told the Asian Journal.
Rudy Asercion, a local community leader in the Bay Area and an elected member of the San Francisco Republican Central Committee, argued that Trump “can be best fix the economy, return the lowest jobless rate to its pre-pandemic level and boost America’s consumer confidence once COVID-19 is over.”
Under the Trump administration, he added, Fil-Ams have been appointed to key roles.
“Although President Trump has only been in office for 3 ½ years, he has already made three major appointments of Filipino Americans. Most notable of which are Noel Francisco’s appointment as Solicitor General of the United States, Brian Bulatao as the Undersecretary of State for Management and Patrick Bumatay as a federal appellate judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,” Asercion told the Asian Journal.
On the ground efforts
The Trump campaign earlier this summer announced “Asian Pacific Americans for Trump,” which includes a 26-member advisory board of AAPI elected officials, grassroots leaders and business owners. Among them are six individuals of Filipino descent who are tasked with helping get out the vote within the AAPI electorate, as previously reported by the Asian Journal.
Pinoy advisory members include Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who is one of the co-chairs; former Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo; Vellie Dietrich-Hall, an entrepreneur from Virginia; Brunswick, Ohio Mayor and attorney Ron Falconi; Herman Martir, a pastor from Fort Worth, Texas; and Shirlene Ostrov, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and chair of the Hawaii Republican Party.
“We need to fight back against the mainstream media/Democrat message that all APAs are liberals and vote to the left. Our community is not monolithic, we have a wide variety of views and political opinions. Not everyone votes Democrat. Highlighting conservative Asian Pacific American leaders across the country who support Donald Trump will help to go against this stereotype,” Falconi previously told the Asian Journal.
With less than 70 days to go until Election Day, Fil-Am Republicans said they are hosting virtual discussions, especially to highlight those in key battleground states.
In a 2018 Asian American Voter Survey released by APIAVote and AAPI Data, 48% of Filipinos surveyed said they had a “favorable” view of the Republican Party, while 50% said they had a “favorable” view of Democratic Party. A similar survey for voters in 2020 is set to be released in the coming month.