Fil-Ams react to Trump’s stunning victory
After a long, heated and hard-fought campaign season, the American people have made their choice: GOP candidate Donald J. Trump is the next president of the United States.
“I just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory and I congratulated her and her family for the campaign. We owe her a debt of gratitude for her service to this country,” Trump said in his victory speech, delivered in front of his supporters who gathered at the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan.
As of this writing, Trump took 279 electoral votes, versus Secretary Hillary Clinton’s 228. Clinton, however, won the popular vote with 59,796,805 votes. The real estate billionaire garnered 59,590,426.
“As I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign, but rather an incredible and great movement made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their families,” he continued.
President Barack Obama delivered a speech at the Rose Garden early Wednesday afternoon, November 9. Obama said that he had a chance to talk to President-elect Trump about 3:30 am on Wednesday and invited him to come to the White House to talk about a successful transition between their presidencies.
“Now, it is no secret that the President-elect and I have some pretty significant differences. But remember, eight years ago, President Bush and I had some pretty significant differences,” Obama said.
The president also said that he had a chance to speak with Clinton.
“I could not be prouder of her,” Obama said. “Her candidacy and nomination was historic and sends a message to our daughters all across the country that they can achieve at the highest levels of politics.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Sec. Clinton delivered her concession speech at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel’s grand ballroom, in front of hundreds of her staff, friends and supporters.
“This is not the outcome that we wanted and we worked so hard for and I am sorry that we did not win this election for the values we shared and the vision we hold for our country,” Clinton said in her first public address after the results of the elections became apparent.
Clinton was supposed to speak in front of thousands of her supporters who gathered at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on Tuesday evening, a setting that her campaign chose primarily because of the steel building’s glass ceiling and structure which is symbolic of the Democratic nominee being elected as the first woman president of the United States, and thus being able to “shatter the highest, hardest glass ceiling.”
Thousands of supporters gathered inside and outside of the Javits Center and the mood was fun and electric as early as 6:00 p.m. when the gates opened. As the evening progressed, however, some people began leaving when it was apparent that Sec. Clinton’s path to the presidency was becoming narrower as results from the swing states came in.
Most of the people inside the Javits Center opted to stay. Eventually, campaign staff told the people who remained inside the convention center that Sec. Clinton would not make an appearance anymore. At around 2:00 a.m., John Podesta, her campaign manager, said that there would be no announcement until the morning.
“This is painful and it will be for a long time. Our campaign was never about one person or even about one election. It is about the country we love,” Clinton said. “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind a chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it.”
Fil-Ams for Hillary
A number of Filipino-American supporters braved the cold weather as they stayed outside the Javits to wait for the results to come in. Some of them expressed dismay at the results.
Joshua Ang Price, a Fil-Am from Arkansas who was a delegate for Clinton during the Democratic National Committee, describe the mood inside the convention center.
“The atmosphere at the Javits Center began on a high note in anticipation of an easy victory for Hillary as suggested by national polling data. Jubilation however soon turned to tension once the final data began to roll in. As Trump’s electoral votes began to mount, so did the fear of the crowd. A lot of people were crying. Others angry. As the long night progressed, few remained hopeful that a victory for Hillary was still possible, but I was one of the ones who remained optimistic,” he said.
Though Clinton’s defeat may come as a blow to many Fil-Am supporters, Price called on them to unite and work together to make sure their voices are heard as the new administration comes in.
“For better or ill, Donald Trump is our president elect and should be treated with the respect accompanying that highest position. We must work with our president not against him to make positive changes in America for all of us. I believe the Fil Am community should work to form a healthy dialogue with the Trump administration to enlighten them on the issues which affect us so that our needs and concerns can be addressed and not forgotten,” he said.
Emily Supil, a New York City resident, said she felt “a little defeated” by the results.
“I voted for Clinton today and I had hoped she would be president tonight,” Supil said.
Supil believes that the FBI and email issue were major factors, along with the possibility that the campaign became a little over-confident because they were leading in most of the polls.
“The email issue was a factor and some people questioned who they wanted to vote for. It’s tricky because some people would prioritize certain things over other issues,” she added.
“Half of the country would be upset either way,” Vincent Ganzon said. “I just feel disheartened because I was thinking that the election would go a certain way based on what I have been reading on the internet and seeing in polls.”
“We need to accept the results because that’s how democracy works. Moving forward, I would like to see both parties work together,” Ganzon added.
Wayne Regencia, a resident of Jersey City also expressed his disappointment about the poll results.
“Not just about the election results but about the country as a whole,” Regencia said. “I wasn’t really enthusiastic with Clinton as our candidate but at least we should elect someone who is qualified. He has no knowledge about the issues and gives a good sound bite and people buy it.”
The Filipino American Democratic Club of New York released a statement congratulating Secretary Hillary Clinton for winning the popular vote in last night’s presidential elections and commending her for her historic campaign and candidacy, and her lifetime of public service. They also expressed disappointment about the results of the polls.
“While FADCNY is deeply disappointed and will be in mourning long after today with the overall results of the election, it is time now to roll up our sleeves to protect our political and policy priorities, including DACA and DAPA at the Federal level. We have no time to waste. These executive actions are now in jeopardy. 4,800 Filipinos who were undocumented have already benefited from a legal status provided by President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, with many more still eligible. We call on Filipino Americans whose immigration status is in question to make a plan to apply for relief, and for green card holders to naturalize as soon as possible, and to organize with immigrant organizations to fight for their rights,” the statement said.
“The results of this election have made one thing clear: Our families are on the line, but we as Filipino Americans are here to stay. We are here to build and protect our community, our families, and our loved ones. We stand ready to safeguard the progress that we have already accomplished, to build our political power, and to rise to the immense challenge before us,” the statement added. “It is critical that our community must step up, and show up, not just for ourselves but for others, so that our needs and priorities are represented. And not just every four years, but every day. Democracy must be our duty practice, and not a chore.”
Fil-Ams praise Trump
Leading up to Election Day, the National Asian American Survey (NAAS) reported that over a quarter of Filipino registered voters favored Trump, comprising the largest support out of any of the groups surveyed.
Given the support Fil-Ams had for Trump and the Republican Party, the Republican National Committee (RNC) continued its outreach to the community, especially in battleground states.
“Through the RNC’s historic data-drive ground game operation from the past three years, Republicans up and down the ballot worked with the Filipino-American community, and played a significant role in the success in this year’s election. Republicans will continue to work with the Filipino-American community to ensure their voices are heard, and create policies that will make them easier to have the opportunity to live their American Dream. Under a Trump Administration and a GOP majority in both chambers of Congress, our nation will thrive and be a huge improvement from the failed liberal policies of the last eight years,” Ninio Fetalvo, APA press secretary of the RNC, said.
“I voted for a change in America,” Cecile Ramos, a Fil-Am community leader in Los Angeles, said. “And I believe Donald Trump represents that.”
Dolly De Leon, a business owner and avid Trump supporter in Las Vegas, said the Republican’s win was a “real surprise.”
“The ‘Silent Majority’ is not silent anymore after Trump wins. Many were shocked not just surprised. Pollsters were wrong and even lied to the public for the purpose of swaying voters or intimidating Trump’s supporters. Many Filipino Americans did not vote for Trump because they were not really informed of the platform of the Trump campaign,” she said.
Ron Villaneuva, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, congratulated Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence for their win.
“As a member of your Asian Americans for Trump Advisory Board, I was honored along with my colleagues from all the Asian American communities to work alongside you and help advance our communities and America. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we work to fix a broken national government. We look forward to working with you and your administration in helping to create and sustain jobs here in America, fix a broken immigration system, restore our prominence in the international community, and have government working for us instead of against us. On behalf of our Filipino-American community, America is great because of its people so let’s all unite, work hard, and move our country forward,” he said in a letter addressed to Trump and Pence.
Villanueva was one of five Fil-Ams on Trump’s Asian Pacific American (APA) advisory board, a group tasked with briefing the campaign about issues relevant to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population.
“Filipinos in America should rejoice with those who believed in Donald Trump from the beginning I honestly believe that President Trump will be the president for all and will do what he had promised during his campaign,” De Leon added.
Poll: Clinton wins AAPI vote
Although Trump won the election overall, exit polling shows that Hillary Clinton won over more Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) voters by a landslide. An exit poll conducted by Asian American Decisions on the eve of the election showed that Clinton won over 75 percent of the AAPI compared to Trump’s 19 percent — 5 percent voted for another candidate.
Across all the surveyed groups — Filipino, Chinese/Taiwanese, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese — Clinton received the most votes in the poll, titled 2016 Asian American Election Eve Poll.
Clinton handily won the AAPI electorate in eight key states: California (79 percent), Nevada (60 percent), Texas (73 percent), Florida (72 percent), North Carolina (73 percent), Illinois (84 percent), Pennsylvania (83 percent) and Virginia (78 percent).
Researchers also measured “emotional drive” in this survey. When asked whether each candidate ever made them feel angry, afraid, proud or hopeful, 51 percent said that Clinton made them feel “proud” and 62 percent made them feel “hopeful.”
In comparison, 68 percent of AAPI voters said that Trump made them feel “angry” and 54 percent said he makes them feel “afraid.”
“Roughly one out of every three Asian American voters nationwide lives in California — that’s 1.8 million Asian American voters in California alone,” Dan Ichinose, Director of the Demographic Research Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, said in a statement.
“This poll showed that Asian American voters in our state were particularly angry at Trump and afraid of the consequences of him being elected,” he added.
Asian Americans are the fastest growing demographic in the United States, according to Census Bureau statistics. Moreover, they are the fastest growing electorate in the country, meaning the Asian American vote becomes more influential with every coming election, according to Jill Hanauer, President of Project New America.
“Despite the results of last night’s election, this poll shows that the Asian American electorate is quickly becoming a significant factor in national elections and only underscores the need for progressives to invest more research on AAPI voters,” Hanauer said.
She added: “Like the Latinos, AAPI voters are not monolithic, and both parties will need to better understand the community if they want to tap into unrealized potential in this growing electorate moving forward.”
The poll comprised of a sample of 2,391 registered voters and was conducted from November 1-7. The group samples included Chinese or Taiwanese (496), Filipinos (329), Indian (589), Japanese (216), Korean (217), Vietnamese (380) and “Other Asian” (164). Participants were contacted through phone calls and online polling. The national margin of error was 2 percent.
The poll was initiated by AAPI Civic Engagement Fund and was sponsored by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Education Association and Service Employees International Union.