Filipino-Americans split on Biden-Trump race

Gillan Ropero and Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 04 2020 11:11 AM | Updated as of Nov 04 2020 04:36 PM

US President Donald Trump (left) and challenger Joe Biden (right) held competing televised town halls. Reuters/File

MANILA (UPDATE) - Filipino-Americans are "quite divided" in the White House race between US President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Manila's envoy in Washington said Wednesday as polls closed.

Trump and Biden split the first US states to be projected in the White House race, with the former taking conservative Kentucky and Indiana and the latter taking Democratic-leaning Vermont and Virginia in widely expected results.

Some 2 million out of 4.3 milllion Filipino-Americans are registered to vote in the US, said Philippine ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.

"It’s really kind of divided. I must say that it’s quite divided unlike, I suppose, in 2016, we had more for Trump. They just wanted a change in administration rather than having a Democrat at that time. Now, I think it’s divided," he told ANC's Headstart.

The Democratic Party is "overplaying their hand" in the US 2020 presidential elections, said Ron Falconi, mayor of Brunswick in Ohio, however, believes Americans would reelect Trump.

"This is gonna be the same thing that happened in 2016, where the Democratic Party as well as their allies and the mainstream media are overplaying their hand and being overly excited about the poll numbers but in the end the American people are gonna decide and vote to reelect this president," he told ANC's Headstart.

Some 52 percent of Filipino-American voters are expected to elect the former US vice president, said Rocio Nuyda, co-founder of Filipino-Americans for Biden.

"The polls are leaning towards a Biden win and he’s been leading by double digits. The popularity of Biden has soared simply because of the difference in character and policies that are supported by Trump right now," she said.

Fil-Ams are concerned about Trump's attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which enables protection for "Dreamers" or young migrants who arrived illegally in the US as minors, she added.

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Biden had also said he would raise the taxes of only those earning more than $400,000 annually, according to Nuyda, contrary to Falconi's claim that there would be higher taxes should the Democratic nominee win.

"Taxes will be raised on the rich Americans, businesses, which under the Trump admin has not happened," Nuyda said.

"My tax under the Trump administration soared and I am retired, higher than [when] I was working."

A Biden win will not "bode well" for the American economy, Falconi had warned.

"His policies tend to be more socialist-leaning type of policies and I don’t think the American people really want that," he said.

With more than 100 million Americans voting ahead of Election Day due to the COVID-19 pandemic, definitive results could take hours or even days in the most crucial states.

--With reports from Reuters and Agence France-Presse

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