Emil Guillermo: Obamacare, Millennials, and Hillary or Donald for Halloween?
October 26, 2016 7:34 PM

Earlier in October, my dogs tore up a nerf-like facsimile of a Donald Trump head, thinking perhaps it was more nutritious than it looked. 

Many of my social media followers liked it. Maybe it helped them to design dog-proof Trump Halloween masks? More on that in a bit. In the meantime, the Trump head lobotomy was not fatal, and I am still able to squeeze it whenever the polls stress me out.

There's a lot of stressing going on in the final days.

Right now, despite sex tapes, sex charges, proposals to build a border wall, a ban on Muslim immigrants, disparaging remarks about Mexicans, Asians and Asian Americans, and disabled people, as well as his continued failure to disclose his income tax returns, even after all that, Trump can still win.

Why? Because so many Americans are rightfully anti-Washington that even an elitist like Trump can be seen as an outsider, and thus a better alternative to more of the same. No matter how much trash on Trump gets released. It's like Hillary's wikileaked e-mails.
It's a big so-what?

Each side's base is unwavering, so the focus now is on the fringes, left, right or middle, the undecideds, or the half-hearted, who may be lured by a trick-or-treat.

With less than two weeks to go, here's a pre-election grab bag to expose some of the trickery out there. 

Yes, there's a 22 percent increase on average in premiums. That's real. But it shouldn't be considered some October Surprise to be used gleefully by Trump and the Republicans.

What's needed is a fundamental understanding of insurance.

Obamacare meant people with pre-existing conditions and those otherwise rejected by normal insurers suddenly became eligible for health care. About 20 million who didn't have health care now have some coverage.

But when they're the only ones in the pool of insureds and they actually use the insurance, that's not good. That's an insurer's nightmare. They sell you insurance hoping you never use it. They profit until you do use it, then curse the heavens and pass the cost back to consumers in higher premiums.

It's the reason these people got priced out or rejected from private plans in the first place.

What did we expect? People who had no insurance suddenly had it and started using it. Hopefully, they're healthier now. But it exposed the problem in Obamacare if we want a program with modest premium increases. To get that, we need broader pools of people to include the healthy and all those who had been insurance untouchables.  
As the pools expand, guess what that looks like? Medicare. The single-payer system we all approve of and don't dare call "socialized medicine."

It's unfair for Trump and the GOPers to say, "I told you so." Besides, Trump's workers are covered by employer-based programs that have broader pools of people with and without health issues. And as for the rest of you lucky to be in private plans, Obamacare hikes are irrelevant. Your insurers made it impossible for those Obamacare folks to have insurance in the first place.

So what should be the proper reaction to those painful Obamacare premium hikes? You're still lucky. Your premiums would be higher in private plans. Or you wouldn't have any insurance. Even with a rate hike, you're better off than having nothing.

Obamacare was a good compromise. But it needs to evolve into the ideal of "single-payer" sooner than later to cover everyone at the best possible price. 

Right now, that's being held up by politicians using Obamacare premium rates as their main talking point to get your vote. They're the ones who don't have your best interests at heart and are truly beholden to politics and corporate insurance interests. 

As I write, Trump tweeted out about Obamacare: "Repeal and Replace."

By what? Don't be tricked.
Instead, think of the approach espoused by the old Clinton Administration line when Republicans attacked affirmative action: "Mend it, don't end it."

No disrespect for Ronan Farrow, whose reports I love on NBC's TODAY show. But his report this week on millennials being turned off to the current presidential race was typically only part of the story.
The white story. 


Farrow used a University of Wisconsin-Madison focus group that appeared all white. None of them could see a last-minute rush of millennial voters to duplicate the Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012.

Farrow even mentioned #Nobody2016 on social media as being indicative of this malaise.

Now, if Farrow had consulted the National Asian American Survey, he would have seen that 18-34 year old Asian Americans were far more engaged than even AAPI baby boomers. Especially when it came to support for Hillary Clinton.
Millennials were 61 percent for Hillary Clinton; 14 percent for other candidates; 8 percent for Trump; 14 percent, "Don't know."

Asian Americans aged 35-plus were 53 percent for Hillary Clinton, 6 percent for others; 17 percent for Trump; 17 percent, "Don't know."

Millennials disengaged? Maybe the white ones. 

Once again, the NAAS survey fills in the holes in the general polling. Asian American millennials don't seem to have a problem with voting for Clinton. They prefer her 61 percent to 8 percent. 

That's not exactly indifference. Asian American millennials prefer pantsuits to empty suits and see Trump as a loser. Big League. 

That may be because there's an active bloc of millennial non-voters mobilizing friends to make sure DACA and DAPA aren't railroaded by politics. Or it may be that there's an emerging group of young African American and Latino voters to go with the young Asian Americans, who are now beginning to understand the potential of real political power.

But they're there. More turned on, than off. It's an important election, and they will live with the consequences longer than anyone.

Stories about voter malaise set up self-fulfilling prophesies, which are just a different kind of voter suppression. Self-rigging. Don't buy into it. Just vote. No matter what age you are.

After all we've been through, you can't not vote.

Finally, this is for those of you who think the prospects of voting between two of the most disliked politicians in American history have sucked all the fun out of politics.

If you're among the many who will be kicking off their Halloween on the weekend, do your own unscientific political poll! Why should Quinnipiac have all the fun? Check out the party of your choice and what do you see? More Hillarys in pantsuits at Halloween gatherings?  Or Donald Trump look-a-likes? 

Costumes during general elections are always some kind of indicator. This year, in a race where both candidates are disliked, will there be more Creepy Clowns?

I'm betting there still may be someone out there contemplating a sexy Hillary outfit. (Likely a Republican.)

I'm sure we'll see some Zombie Donald Trumps grabbing at undocumented workers.  

You might even consider a Billy Bush costume, though people would constantly be asking you what kind of Bush you were.

From Halloweens past, I still have my Obama mask. Is a Trump mask like my shrunken voodoo Trump head in your future?

I'm sure if someone is capable of making a nerf Trump that my dogs chewed up, there must be a non-flammable Trump mask for those who want to avoid all that orange hair and makeup.

Sure enough, there were a number of masks. Mind you, this is no endorsement from me. The mask is a rubber job that covers your entire head, 360-degrees (kind of like Anderson Cooper). And it has openings for eyes, mouth, nose, and ears, but not guaranteed that applies to Democrats. Seller says one size fits most adults. Unclear if the 9" diameter head opening would fit an actual size Donald Trump.

For 5 bucks, it's a bit cartoonish for style mavens.

A national chain is selling one for $12.99 that looks more realistic, but appropriately comes with a warning:

- Certain states require us to provide consumers with special warning for certain products if those products expose consumers to chemicals above threshold levels. We care about our customers' safety and hope that the information below helps with your buying decision.

FOR CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects and/or other reproductive harm. Do not put in mouth or chew.

A Trump mask that causes cancer when sucked on or chewed?

Now that's a buyer beware for trick-or-treating voters.

Remember, it's just Halloween. Pretend time. Fun time. A break. And when Oct. 31 ends, we'll be left with one last week before Election Day 2016, when our true national nightmare is over. 

Let's hope.

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Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at 
www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

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Emil Guillermo: Third presidential debate moment--Asian Americans know what it means when politicians don't accept election results
October 20, 2016 1:49 PM

Donald Trump can't help himself. Even after the third presidential debate, he stood Thursday before an Ohio rally and couldn't give in. 

Instead, he said he would "totally accept" the election results. 

But then added: "If I win."

That's a version of the Trumpian catch-all clause that is probably in all his contracts. 

What did the self-proclaimed "man who never settles" do to change the perception on debate night that he's a whiny bad loser who will win at all costs?
Not much, really.

And if you're Asian American, Trump's answer is more troubling than he thinks.

Republicans? Democrats? Here's what counts. Asian Americans are predominantly a foreign- born U.S. group. There are more than 11 million from Asian countries living in the U.S. 

That's approaching two-thirds of all Asian Americans in the U.S.

You bet they were watching the third debate. So were many other foreign-born Americans in our country, more than 41 million total. 

They know by their presence that America is the land of opportunity, of political freedom and expression. And all of it is backed by an ironclad constitutional guarantee. 

These Americans escaped hardship, repression, and, in some cases, political torture. They willingly renounced their land of origin to come and participate in this great American democracy. 

Remember the great Filipino leader, Sen. Benigno Aquino, who lived here in exile in Massachusetts and Texas, escaping martial law in the Philippines? He later returned to his homeland in 1983, only to be assassinated on a Manila tarmac.

The Philippines, a former colony, has a democracy made in the image of the U.S.

Martial law clauses are in the U.S. constitution. Never have they been invoked here like they have in the Philippines, where there was a full-fledged dictatorship with so-called "elections."

What do you think goes through the minds of the five million American Filipinos when the standard bearer of the Republican party in the U.S., one of the standard bearers of democracy in the world, is asked point blank if he would accept the official election results?

"Trump has to accept the results," Dr. Roy Flores, an Ohio Republican, told me by phone. "I think that the U.S. election process is generally fair and probably the fairest in the world for a huge country."

Flores said Trump and his rallies reminded him of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. "He always drew huge crowds and won," he told me. Flores left the Philippines because of Marcos.

Soon after our exchange, Trump came out and did his tease, that he would accept the election results---if he wins.

"That is more than funny," Flores told me with a bit of ironic sadness.

Flores remains conflicted. He doesn't like Clinton and is like a lot of conservatives who are trying to navigate around Trump. Flores says he will still vote for the Republican, but now is convinced Trump will lose the election.

It's clear that Trump doesn't think taking a tough guy stand on election results will hurt his base. But maybe they'll be mad and just not vote.

Still, to those who are here in America because they know the likes of dictators, juntas, martial law, and the real examples of a rigged elections, the Trump clause invoked after the debate--"If I win"--made Trump no different than a Third World politician.

Trump is the candidate that true freedom-loving people of democracy must run away from and repudiate.

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Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at 
www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

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Emil Guillermo: How Filipinos discovered America, though America still resists discovering them
October 17, 2016 1:38 PM

I confess Trump's admission for his predilection of the Trumpian sexual offense known as the "pussy grab" distracted me so much in the last week I plumb forgot about Indigenous Peoples Day, Oct. 10.


I wasn't even able to appropriately dis that overreaching Genoan sailing for Spain, Christopher Columbus, for his much heralded land grab of 1492. 

That's OK--we have Oct.18, an even better day worth noting for all Asian Americans.

On that very day in 1587, the First Filipinos from Asia landed in America. And they didn't grab a thing. At least, not for themselves. They even gave the Indians food and clothing, as peace offerings to their fellow "Yndios." 

But the Filipinos were just working stiffs for the Spanish colonizers, who write the history.

If you're counting, 1587 is 95 years later than Columbus, but 33 years before 1620, when the much ballyhooed Pilgrims, with the oversized hats and buckles, landed on a rock in Massachusetts and forgot it first belonged to the Indians.

Despite the egregious oversight, we still make much ado of those Mayflower folks in November.

And those First Filipinos? Well, as usual, they're like modern Asian Americans who just don't count.

Few make a big deal of Oct. 18, 1587, the day Pedro De Unamuno sailing for Spain landed on Morro Bay, close to San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast of California. But the Filipino American National Historical Society does, and it's the main reason October is Filipino American History Month.

While Unamuno, not a Filipino, is only partially obscured in history as one of those "have-boat-will-travel" New World explorers, the Filipino parts of the story are almost totally obscured.

The turning point was the original research of Unamuno's logs published in UCLA's Amerasia Journal in 1996 by Eloisa Gomez Borah, librarian and a trustee of FANHS. She makes the case for a Filipino presence, telling the story of how Unamuno was part of a Spanish expedition led by Francisco Gali in 1584. When Gali died, Unamuno lost command of the two ships he inherited after taking a side trip to Macao. Stranded in Asia, Unamuno was finally able to buy another boat, described by Borah as a " single-deck three-masted vessel" named Nuestra Senora de Buena Esperanza. 

His deckhands and brawn were mostly Filipinos.

On July 12, 1587, Unamuno headed for points east and was at sea until the end of his voyage on November 22, 1587 in Acapulco, Mexico.

But there was a brief three-day land excursion between October 18-20 that turned out to be the northern California coast. 

Unamuno sailed with the Franciscan Father Martin Ignacio de Loyola, nephew of the founder of the Jesuit order, a few priests, and soldiers. 

The logs also reveal the presence of at least eight Filipinos identified as "Yndios Luzones," or Luzon Indians from the northern Philippines island of Luzon.

They were jacks-of-all-trade seamen, seen as the brawny manpower of the ship. In an email exchange, Borah told me too often they were left off the logs.

"Filipinos present on these early explorations and trade ships were overlooked in captains' logs," Borah said. "Even in Captain Unamuno's log, which I chose because he did mention "Indios Luzones," documenting the presence of Filipino natives was inconsistent, as my count in the article provides the proof."

Borah counted "Yndios" appearing in the logs 42 times total. In 23 times, it was a reference to the native Californians encountered, but 19 times it described the crew.

But they mattered on Sunday, October 18. That's when Unamuno, after anchoring off the California coast in a place he called Puerto San Lucas, formed a landing party.

It was 12 armed soldiers led by Father Martin Ignacio de Loyola, cross in hand. But even before the cross, up ahead of them all were two Filipinos armed with swords and shields.
It was their typical formation.

On the first day, the expedition climbed two hills, saw no settlements or people, and took possession of the land for the King of Spain.
On the second day, October 19, eight Filipino scouts led a priest and 12 soldiers for further exploration.
It was on the third day, October 20, that the expedition encountered violence. But not before there was an effort from the ship's barber and some Filipinos to make a peace offering of food and clothing.  Borah said it was fine until the Indians tried to kidnap the barber, and that's when a violent exchange ensued. The log noted one soldier was killed, but so was one unnamed Filipino, by a javelin, his blood spilled on American soil.

Unamuno didn't stay long. He left by daybreak on October 21 for Acapulco.

The significance of three days?

Borah calls it the unique evidence of a Filipino presence that is too often obscured when historians fail to identify or differentiate among non-Europeans in their crew. 

When I contacted her this month, she was adamant.

"Filipino natives, among the non-white indios of that era, did not write the logs or the letters to the king or any other contemporary documents," Borah wrote me in an email exchange. "However, Filipino indios were 4 out of 5 who worked the Spanish galleons (Schurz, 1939) in crossing the Pacific for 250 years, and they were the advance guard in the land expeditions and provided the information evidenced in Captain Unamuno's log."

She added, " What needs to be done now is the championing of our history, because while Filipino 'crabs' snipe at our history that is documented by academic research, the Chinese are championing fable in 1421: The Year China Discovered America [by a former British Navy officer Gavin Menzies]."

Borah was referring to a much discredited story that suggests China discovered America before Columbus.

So it's interesting that Filipinos are still forgotten, unremarked upon, and ignored, even as they exist as nearly a quarter of the more than 20 million Asian Americans today.

And yet of all the Asian Americans, they were here first. And even though blood was spilled, they left empty-handed after three October days in California, 1587.

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Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at 
www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

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Emil Guillermo: Trump tapes are the vulgarization of American democracy
October 10, 2016 3:29 PM

For much needed contrast, after the sad spectacle of the Sunday presidential debate, I figured I needed some laughs. 

So immediately after watching it streamed live on CBSN, I caught a performance by the former Saturday Night Live Weekend Update anchor Norm MacDonald, the last comedian to appear on the late great "Late Show with David Letterman." 

It was a perfect segue. He's a funny man who's supposed to be funny. Not a politician or a news guy trying to be funny.

In fact, MacDonald at SNL was one of the original "fake news" guys.

On the debates, MacDonald admitted, "When it gets political, I get bored." As the crowd tittered at his honesty, he then mocked a politician's Trump-style approach of bringing up sex in a campaign, and added what has long been the rational response--to demand the candidates bring it back to the real topics.

To which the satirist MacDonald delivered the punchline in his own voice: "Oh, no, not the topics. We don't want that."
Yes, it's come to that.

It got a big laugh. And maybe that will be the 2016 campaign's lasting truth.

You expect the truth to shine through a comedian's nightclub vulgarity.

You're surprised when a politician's vulgarity reveals his truth.

But it seems that's what we're getting lots of this year. Donald Trump can't seem to help himself. He's thrown presidential decorum out the window preferring to cast himself as an "everyman elitist" up against the political elitists, in some dive bar wet T-shirt, mud-wrestling night extravaganza.
Starting with the primaries, there were the John McCain and Megyn Kelly comments; talk of Trump's penis size in a March GOP debate; the disparagement of Muslims, Mexicans, a Mexican American judge, the disabled, Asians and their accents, a Latino Miss Universe. 

But wait, there's more.

Just last Friday, the Washington Post released an "Access Hollywood" tape that features Trump on a hot mic in full candid audio glory. 

It's not easily forgettable. 

Trump's comments on the tape defy anatomy and actually seem to advocate sexual assault, when he speaks of grabbing a woman by the private parts as an exercise of white male privilege.

Maybe Trump figured if Putin can grab "Pussy Riot," he could grab some of his own.

By Friday, a mere press statement apology wasn't enough. And on Saturday, a Facebook Live apology, where Trump appeared less repentant and more defiant, only fanned the flames.

For Sunday's debate, Trump only had one thing to do.  Make America forget it all, by being contrite and showing sufficient remorse. 

He simply couldn't do it.
First, he tried to upstage the debate by creating a diversion, a "Bill Clinton Reunion of Shame," featuring all the women who have had some sexual issue with the former president. That might be fine if Bill Clinton were his opponent.

Trump's best shot came in the debate itself, saying the "Access Hollywood" tape was "locker room" talk. He said he was sorry, then somehow linked his insincere groping apology to his somewhat sincere desire to beat ISIS. 

By grabbing ISIS members by their private parts?

Hillary Clinton, perhaps careful not to attack Trump too forcefully, said the tape was "who Donald Trump is," and that "this is not who we are."
Trump called it "just words." Then he went on as if the issue was done. 

But it's not. 

Clinton looked presidential just standing there and being respectful. Throughout the debate, Trump lifted his nose, scowled, shook his head, and often interrupted in a bullying manner. 

And when he was quiet, he often appeared to be stalking Clinton.

Stylistically, Trump was a loser.
I found two other moments worth mentioning.

Trump was able to hammer Clinton on the e-mail issue. But if you've heard the arguments before, you know it's nowhere near the egregious nature Trump claims.
But Trump knows how to make it incendiary, telling Clinton he'd assign a special prosecutor to her case. "You'd be in jail," he said. 

It reminded me of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos under martial law making his presidential opponent, the late Sen. Benigno Aquino, a political prisoner.

In other words, it was too close to reality to be a sarcastic joke. It was merely Trump being Trump 2016. His base of support may love it, but it gave freedom-loving Americans reason to fear a Trump with presidential power.

The other moment I noted was at the very beginning when I saw an obviously Asian American face in the town hall audience. I thought maybe we'd see our issues addressed.

But she wasn't called on.

There was, however, a question by Gorbah Hamed, a Muslim American of Palestinian descent, who asked Trump this: "[W]ith Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?"

Trump had no good answer. He seemed to suggest there were only two possible types of Muslim Americans, radicalized ones and informants. Trump didn't seem to understand there were normal Americans of Muslim faith who are harmed by his xenophobic beliefs.

Most Asian Americans know what it's like to be targeted by wrong-headed racist policies. Trump promises that kind of America.

So the debate had plenty of moments, but nothing that erases the memory of the hot mic moment caught ten years ago on that just released video. 

It's funny how the sensitivity levels have changed. Ten years ago, Trump may have been able to dismiss it all as locker room banter and would have been given a pass. Certainly, 20 years ago, he could have.

Times have changed for women. And Trump is also running for president. He's not just a rich a-hole flaunting his white privilege. The secret tape revealed now threatens to implode his candidacy. These are not thoughts a public person can hold privately.

But it's funny how racist private thoughts about Asian Americans played for laughs in public is still A-OK.

Last week, Asian American groups were rightfully busy expressing their outrage about the disgusting "Watters' World" tape that played on Fox News's "O'Reilly Factor." But then the Trump discovery trumped our outrage. 

We just haven't quite reached that level yet, I guess. The Fox News report was supposed to be about Asian Americans' response to the debates. Instead, it just recycled tired stereotypes and passed them off as news. Fox's Jesse Watters so far has gotten away with saying he was just joking. 

I prefer my jokes from actual comedians like Norm MacDonald.

But that's what it's like when the discourse goes coarse in our vulgarized democracy.

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Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at 
www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

Posted by:Emil Guillermo | 1 comments

Emil Guillermo: 2016 National Asian American Survey More Revealing Than Veep Debate
October 5, 2016 9:05 AM

Today, you'll learn more about Asian Americans and the presidential campaign from the just released 2016 National Asian American Survey than you will from that Veep debate last night.

Did you watch the Veep Debate--where the TV show "Veep" is better known than either Tim Kaine or Mike Pence? 
It's hard to get up for a debate where the most positive thing either candidate could proclaim is "I'm No. 2!" 

It's a little like watching replacement players during an NFL strike.

Only an electorate with a death wish would care about a Veep debate. I mean, someone has to be incapacitated or die for these guys to really matter. 

Considering the presidential race is between the two most unliked candidates in history, that might be relevant.  

Who are we stuck with if someone forgets to take his or her medicine?

But in many ways, last night's Veep debate mirrored the Asian American community's political plight.

Here were two semi-anonymous proxies, Pence and Kaine, white men in waiting, in a debate moderated by Elaine Quijano. She's a great CBS reporter who is hidden on the weekends and in the app world of CBSN--an Asian American of Filipino descent, who I'm sure most watchers thought by her surname was Latina. 


And that's the problem most of us Asian Americans have. 

Our anonymity becomes us. 

No one knows or cares to know all that much about Asian Americans politically.

But now, we've got data!

If most Americans before last night were saying, "Pence who? Kaine what?" we can say this morning that Asian American voters really matter, having grown by more than 1.2 million eligible voters in each election cycle since 2000. We're also tilting faster toward the Democratic Party overall. Add it all up and on election day, AAPIs are projected to support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by 70 percent to 20 percent, with 10 percent for others.

But that doesn't mean we can be ignored in the late stages of campaign 2016.  The projection takes into account something most other polls wouldn't pick up.

Asian Americans aren't all Democrats (Blue) or Republican (Red). We're kind of a unique blend of Asian American purple.

While 41 percent identify as Democrat as compared to 16 percent Republican, a very large number of Asian American voters choose neither party.

Forty-one percent don't identify as either Democrat or Republican.

And 30 percent say they are outright independents.

Anyone want a modern definition of swing voters?

On a political Tinder app, we'll swipe wherever we damn well please.

All of this comes from the just released 2016 National Asian American Survey, the quadrennial nationwide phone poll that finally takes Asian Americans seriously enough to call up and find out what we actually think. 

By we, I mean Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans, Japanese, and Vietnamese. And for the first time, the survey includes national samples of Hmong, Cambodians, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders. It was done in English and ten Asian languages over landlines and mobile phones.

And all it took was 2,238 AAPIs to be randomly contacted nationwide.

It's not an easy task, which is why most other national polls choose to ignore Asian Americans, period.

If you've ever wondered why a poll only mentions Blacks or Latinos, that's your reason.

They're not looking for us.

Most pollsters simply decide to make us invisible.

To the vast majority of pollsters, we're not worth the time and money. 

I've spoken out on this for years because as the polls go, so go the pols.

When we don't show up in the polls, pols don't come courting or bother to acknowledge we're there.

We've seen one key NAAS 2016 finding before: "There is a pressing need for Asian American voter outreach, especially given the reported lack of contact by parties and candidates," according to the 2016 survey.

Because of the work of Karthick Ramakrishnan, a political scientist at UC Riverside, as well as colleagues Jennifer Lee of UC Irvine, Taeku Lee of UC Berkeley, and Janelle Wong of Univ. of Maryland, the data is available. 

There is no excuse to ignore Asian Americans. At least not for the next 30 days.

I always find the ethnicity/national origin details to be revealing in the NAAS, and this year seems to show a trend. Among the large AAPI groups, Asian Indians are far more loyal Democratic by a 53 percent to 7 percent margin. Overall, Hmongs are the most Democratic, at 60 percent to 4 percent Republicans. 

But it's the Vietnamese Americans who are the most divided, with Democrats leading Republicans 29 percent to 23 percent. This actually shows a drop from previous surveys, where Vietnamese Republicans were as much as 42 percent in 2008. It seems more are choosing to call themselves "Independent," 47 percent.

Filipino Americans are the group that continue a rightward lean. In 2008 to 2016, the group has grown from 18 percent Republican to 25 percent. Filipino Democrats are still at 41 percent. But once again, there's 31 percent who say they are non-partisan.

Of all AAPI groups, Chinese Americans are the most willing to negotiate for their vote--61 percent claim to be non-partisan.

The survey takes into account so-called "leanings" of non-partisan and Independents. And here's where the truth comes out in the wash. 

party ID.jpgDemocrats hold a 2-1 average overall when the "leaning" numbers are tallied. 

For example, when Chinese Americans' leanings are taken to account, 18 percent identify as Republican, and 30 percent pure Independent. The majority, though, peel off to make Democrats dominant at 51 percent.

The stats are more fun than compiling and comparing National League pitching stats for WHIP. (Madison Bumgarner's of the Giants, by the way, is at 1.05; the Mets' Noah Syndergaard's is at 1.15).

But now, NAAS tells us: Asian Americans have an overall 3-1 preference for Clinton over Trump. We consider jobs and the economy, healthcare, and education as the most important issues in the U.S. today. And the majority of us are aligned with African Americans to ensure racial equality.

More importantly, the independent streaks show that there are differences amongst us huddled under our big umbrella that you may call AAPI or AANHPI. Indeed, the umbrella should only make everyone see we are not easily stereotyped and are becoming a far more complex and diverse group than anyone realizes.

As the fastest growing racial group in the U.S., Asian Americans matter as a political presence--if anyone bothers to notice. 

And that means you, major networks and newspapers, and any other pollsters who dare to stick a finger in the air and generalize about an American electorate without us.

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Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at 
www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

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