FilAms identifying more as Democrats: survey

 A strong anti-immigrant stance within the GOP is turning off Filipino Americans. .

A strong anti-immigrant stance within the GOP is turning off Filipino Americans. .

The Filipino American Democratic Club of New York responded to poll results that show a record 30-point gain of FilAms who identify as Democrats since the last presidential election in 2012.

“Now more than ever, Filipino Americans are identifying with the Democratic Party’s vision of equality and opportunity for all Americans, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, or who they love,” said Aries Dela Cruz, president of FADCNY. “This vision involves making it easier for Filipino American working families, and indeed all Americans, to build a secure and prosperous life such as a higher minimum wage, comprehensive immigration reform, and increased access to affordable healthcare and education.”

After the release by AAPI Data, Asian Pacific Islander American Vote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice of the Spring 2016 Asian American Voter Survey, the FADCNY independently highlighted the survey’s valuable findings and implications for the Filipino American community.

“By every measure, from surveys like this, to our everyday experiences working with the Filipino American community, we encounter the rising potential of the Filipino American political community in the United States,” said FADCNY Vice President Steven Raga. “This being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we are reminded of the hard-fought battles for recognition and progress that our community has faced, and the need for more of the kind of political organizing still needed to be done to secure the Filipino community’s place as a core part of the story of America.”

Other welcome news in the survey include Filipino Americans leading Asian Americans as being the top group to use social media to share political information.

“Filipino Americans have always been technological innovators and incredibly active on social media. The Philippines is known as the social networking capital of the world,” said FADCNY Communications Director Marian Guerra. “Here in the United States, we have been able to leverage social media platforms to start conversations about important issues and current events, and many of us have become digitally-savvy political organizers.”
Yet, FADCNY was reminded that more work needs to be done to turn this online political engagement into real concrete and material actions, as the data also showed that Filipino American respondents were the least likely among Asian Americans to have attended a political demonstration or rally.

Among the survey’s findings, the FADCNY would like to highlight the following key data points:

• There has been a 12-point increase in the proportion of Asian Americans who identify as Democrats from 2012 to 2016.

• An astonishing 54 percent of FilAm respondents identify as Democrats, compared with only 24 percent in 2012, a 30-point increase.

• Only 16 percent of FilAm respondents think of themselves as Republicans. It should not go without saying that four years ago that FilAms led the Asian American community as the most likely to identify as Republican (27 percent of FilAms in 2012). This is a 12-point drop in the GOP’s strength in the FilAm community.

• For FilAms who are independents or not affiliated with any political party or do not think in terms of political parties, 39 percent of these respondents think of themselves as closer to the Democratic Party. Only 8 percent said they were closer to the Republican Party.

• Only 31 percent of FilAm respondents had a favorable view of the Republican Party, compared to 64 percent of respondents who had a favorable view of the Democratic Party. Meanwhile 48 percent of FilAm respondents had an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, compared to only 21 percent having an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party.

“Our analysis of the full report is that there is strong white-nativist and anti-immigrant stances with the GOP and Donald Trump in particular,” Dela Cruz told The FilAm. “The survey showed Filipino American voters strongly supporting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, as well as choosing another candidate if the candidate displayed anti-Muslim beliefs.”

Overall, within the Asian America community, added Dela Cruz, “Many analysts of the survey said that youth becoming voters is bringing the Asian community further to the left. Interestingly enough, gun control is something Filipinos tend to side with conservatives with, according to that poll.”

A 30-point shift

A 30-point shift

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