Why U.S. midterm elections matter to Fil-Ams

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 23

NEW YORK – In the 2008 Presidential election, 57.1 percent of eligible voters in the US cast their ballots that brought President Barack Obama into office as the first African-American US President.

But in 2010, voter turnout dropped to 36.9 percent in the midterm elections that gave the house back to the Republicans.

Then again in 2012, 53.7 percent of Americans showed up at the polls to re-elect Obama.

When the presidency is not at stake, voter turn out is expected to drop drastically because many voters believe midterm elections do not matter, but Filipino community leaders on both sides of the aisle say it does matter, especially this coming Nov. 4 House and Senate polls.

New York community leader Loida Nicolas Lewis said, “It is so important for us Filipino Americans to really come out and vote, vote for those who are in favor of the things that are good for us.”

For Pinoy-Republican leader Rudy Asercion, the midterm polls matter.

Republicans expect to gain a few seats both in the House and the Senate – and that could mean a shift in the congressional balance of power in favor of the Grand Old Party.

“Mr. Obama’s unpopularity is becoming very severe right now and it’s growing. A clear example of that: in the six states which is crucial for the senate, the battle ground states. None of the candidates in the six states, none of them are asking him to go on the campaign trail with them because of his unpopularity,” Asercion said.

But for Democratic supporter Nicolas-Lewis, a Republican majority-led House and Senate could mean the end of immigration reform, repeal of healthcare reform or Obamacare, and more money for Pentagon for wars.

“It is so important to maintain the majority of Democrats in the Senate because otherwise, everything that has been good for us Filipino-Americans could or would be in danger of being washed away,” said Nicolas-Lewis.

Asercion says Republican candidates are more likely to win this election simply because of President Obama’s poor performance in his two terms of office alone.

Asercon said, “One the biggest failures in this administration is the inability to reach out to the other side of the aisle. He sort of became by himself and doing things by himself, like doing Presidential proclamations, executive orders, and things like that which will make him more unpopular, because he is going against the Republicans who may be in power.”

“He fixed our economy. When he came in, hundreds of thousands of people were losing jobs every month, we reached almost 10 percent unemployment rate. Now it’s the lowest, ten years ago, 5.9 unemployed,” Nicolas-Lewis said. “President Obama is going to be judged as one of the best presidents of the United States.”

But at the end of the day, the outcome of the 2014 midterm elections, whether the turnout is low or not, will only be determined by who turns out more – Democrat or Republican voters.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com

2 Comments on this post.

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  • filam
    23 October 2014 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Time to vote republican if you care about America

  • Mario
    24 October 2014 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    35M illegal alien, will get amnesty and grab your job. If the Republican wins, they will control the Congress and Senate, Obama will have a hard time to sign an Exec Order.Obama will retire in California on 2016.By 2018 Sen Dianne Feinstein will retire too, then Michelle Obama will run and take over her position,that is the game plan. By that time California will be 38% Hispanic(La Raza)control and “Californians, you can keep Obama at all times”……