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Manny Pacquiao and Hillary Clinton: Could a Pac-Man endorsement impact U.S presidency?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Could an endorsement by a professional fighter sway the 2016 U.S Presidential Election?

Probably not, but it could make things really interesting and isn't outside the realm of possibility.

Today, former first lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to announce she will seek the U.S. presidency for a second time. If she follows through, she will immediately establish herself as the likely 2016 Democratic nominee.

And rest-assured, Team Clinton will be asking for the help of superstar Manny Pacquiao, who is currently in training to face fight legend Floyd Mayweather on May 2 in what may be the highest grossing fight ever.

It's no secret, Hillary Clinton dearly wants Pacquiao's endorsement.


Not only is Manny one of the world's most popular athletes, he's a public statesman who is respected worldwide. So even if Manny loses to Floyd next month, he should expect a call from Ms. Clinton sometime soon.

But if Pac-Man upsets Floyd, the former should probably expect several calls from Clinton staff over the next 14 months as they'll seek to parlay his mind-blowing stature into votes in November 2016.

In 2011, following a meeting with President Benigno Aquino III, Clinton insisted she was a fan of the prizefighting politician.

“We know that PacMan had another great victory (referring to Pac-Man's majority decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez). I am a major PacMan fan," she proudly uttered.

Could Manny Pacquiao's support, should he endorse Ms. Clinton, be the linchpin that ignites a trend that ultimately puts her over the top?

Clinton wants that endorsement - and for good reason.

Americans of Filipino descent comprise about 3.4 million people, or 1.1% of the U.S. population. They are the country's second-largest self-reported Asian ancestry group after Chinese Americans according to 2010 American Community Survey.

While that may not seem like a lot, all one must do is examine the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Presidential Election results to learn how impactful such groups can be in close elections.... And don't be surprised if there's another nailbitter in 2016.

So how do Filipino Americans vote?

Data suggests Filipino Americans aren't inherently loyal to one party and can be swayed. In the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election Republican, President George W. Bush won the Filipino American vote over John Kerry by nearly a two-to-one ratio. However, during the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, Filipino Americans voted majority Democratic, with 50% to 58% of the community voting for President Barack Obama and 42% to 46% voting for Senator John McCain.

In fact, the 2008 election marked the first time that a majority of Filipino Americans voted for a Democrat presidential candidate. And in 2012, in a survey of Asian Americans from thirty seven cities conducted by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, it found that of the Filipino American respondents, 65% voted for Obama.

Last October, Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, sat next to Clinton at a dinner function.

According to Arum, Clinton asked him to get Pacquiao to the US once she decided to launch her presidential campaign.

"She said ‘Bob, I don't know if I’m gonna run for president but if I do, you gotta get Manny Pacquiao to come over and help me,’" said Arum.

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