How to misrepresent surveys
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-01-12

Lost in the chicanery of news spin and slanted commentaries is what the recent December 27 to 28, 2010 SWS survey, commissioned by an ally of Senator Manny Villar, really presented. The spin masters are misinterpreting the survey numbers to be able to project that Senator Manny Villar is about to overtake the DOMINANT BRAND of the 2010 presidential election — Senator Noynoy Aquino.

The December 27-28, 2009 SWS survey showed Villar rising by six points, from 27 to 33, compared to the SWS December 5-10, 2009 survey. Noynoy Aquino remained dominant with a 44% rating compared to his 46% rating in the SWS December 5-10 survey. The margin of error makes that 2% variance negligible and the fact is

Noynoy remains the dominant brand.
It must be considered that what the November and December SWS and Pulse Asia surveys show is that Noynoy has solidified his dominance by averaging 45%. What the November and December SWS and Pulse Asia surveys also show is that the volatility is found among the second, third, fourth and fifth placers behind Noynoy Aquino.

It is true, as the numbers show, that Villar is cementing his second place position. But the fact remains that Villar has not really eroded Noynoy Aquino’s base at all. Villar got his added points from the other candidates following the shifts after Chiz Escudero quit the race.

The spin masters are attempting to project that Noynoy is on a “sharp and perilous” downturn, even saying that the Noynoy bubble had burst. Since when did an average two month rating of 45% become a “sharp and perilous” downturn? Even Joseph Goebbels would have avoided saying that because the lie is easily exposed when the numbers say the opposite.

The rivals of Noynoy, especially Villar, must now be on panic mode because what they thought was just an emotional reaction to the passing of Cory Aquino which should have dissipated by now — did not. The way Villar and Senator Dick Gordon savaged Noynoy Aquino during the January 9 forum at Ayala Alabang would indicate that the negative campaign being waged underground has been elevated above ground.

Place yourself in Villar’s shoes. You’ve spent a lot of money trying to erode Noynoy Aquino’s dominant position. On those days before and during that December 27-28 SWS survey, your ads were all over the place while Noynoy hardly had anything. And what did Villar get? He eroded Joseph Estrada but not Noynoy.

If Villar is doing his own qualitative studies, then he would have known that Noynoy’s loyal base is solid whereas his base is soft. Villar had rated 33% before but he slid back to the lower 20s. Villar kept hitting Noynoy’s heroic parents because if he was doing his homework — he would have known that this is the big asset he could not take away from Noynoy.

Your Chair Wrecker has seen several studies on why 2010 voters chose their preferred candidates. The common finding is that people are passionately for Noynoy because they consider him the “dakilang anak ng mga dakilang magulang na di gagawa ng masama (noble son of noble parents who will not do anything bad).” Villar knows that he cannot aspire to match or negate that asset of Noynoy.

In the case of the Escudero voters, their natural tendency is to blame Noynoy for the withdrawal of their idol and thus gravitate to anybody but Noynoy. But will that sentiment remain the same, especially when Chiz openly campaigns for Noynoy?

Do you see Chiz campaigning for Gilbert Teodoro after denouncing the vested interests in the NPC? Do you see Chiz endorsing Estrada and hope to still be associated with his theme of a Bagong pagbabago (new dawn)? Do you see Chiz endorsing Villar after he said that he could not run with Villar knowing the evidence against Villar in the Senate ethics case? Chiz is not Loren Legarda and he will not do that.

Ever since Noynoy took the dominant position, there was a sudden drop of the heat against Manny Villar. That plus the pump priming done by his heavy ad spending allowed him to solidify his second place position.

But what happens when Noynoy’s supporters decide that Villar deserves tit for tat for all the attacks he has been doing against Noynoy? What happens if Joseph Estrada, Gilbert Teodoro, Dick Gordon, Bro. Eddie Villanueva decide that the easier way to rise is to attack the vulnerable Villar instead of the dominant Noynoy?

A marketing and advertising veteran commented: “Villar is a pseudo savior of the poor. He is a case of a smart businessman who made billions selling low cost houses to the poor. In other words, si Villar ay nagpayaman gamit ang mahirap (Villar got rich using the poor).”

What happens to Villar’s ratings when more credible persons revive the serious allegations that have been hounding him, including one leveled against him by his now ally and then Makati Representative Joker Arroyo?

What happens when people start asking what compromises Villar had entered into already to be able to assemble the oddest coalition around him — from the extreme Left to the extreme Right, including a running mate who once prosecuted him in the Senate for corruption?

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

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A great disservice to P-Noy

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