Can't I get the dropdown to filter on page load?
Drop down filters are applied against the list when your open the drop down. I tried a few ways to pre-filter that list and I'm not sure you'll be able to pull the results of a filtered drop down. You could try to add an action to the drop down text change action and call that on page load - this might trigger the filter but I still think you'll run into the same results.
I'm going to test this on my local account and respond back if I find a work around for you.