Do you really believe that Villar is the most trusted?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-02-28
Following the announcement last week of the results of the TNS (Taylor Nelson Sofres) nationwide survey which showed Noynoy Aquino posting an 11-point lead over Manny Villar, it appeared to some that Pulse Asia came to the rescue of Villar by releasing the TRUST rating poll last Wednesday which showed Aquino behind Villar.

Conducted on January 28 to February 3 with a base of 3,000 respondents, the TNS poll showed the following results in the presidential race:

Noynoy Aquino - 41.54%

Manny Villar - 30.63%

Joseph Estrada - 11.66%
Gilbert Teodoro - 5.21%

Bro. Eddie Villanueva - 2%

Richard Gordon - 1%

Jamby Madrigal - 0.22%

TNS has been in the Philippines since 1983 and offers full service operations covering all aspects of marketing research and consulting. The firm claims to be the “No. 1 in the Philippines for customized market research.” ABS-CBN is one of its many media clients.

“Almost 30 years of research experience has made us experts in understanding the Philippines’ trade and consumer environment. These insights are critical to helping our clients make their important business decisions,” the TNS website states. TNS was tapped by SWS (Social Weather Stations) to undertake its field research for many years.

As to be expected from candidates on the short end of a survey, Villar and Estrada downplayed the TNS poll findings. They were prudent though not to question the credibility and capability of TNS. They both said that the TNS results do not reflect the reception they are seeing in their sorties — something that is neither here nor there.

Villar defender and spokesman Gilbert Remulla also did not question the credibility and capability of TNS. Instead, he preferred to look at the results of the next SWS and Pulse Asia surveys.

Lo and behold — five days after the TNS poll was scooped last February 19 by Ces Drilon of ABS-CBN in Bandila which she anchors, the Pulse Asia TRUST ratings were released. The Pulse Asia TRUST poll showed Villar with a trust rating of 71%, Aquino with 64%, Estrada with 33%, Teodoro with 32%, Gordon with 26%, Bro. Eddie Villanueva with 15% and Jamby Madrigal with 14%.

The Pulse Asia TRUST poll was conducted on January 22-26, a part of the very same poll where Aquino rated 37% versus Villar’s 35% in preferred president. The TRUST rating results when juxtaposed with the presidential preference results defied marketing trend where the MOST TRUSTED brand is usually the LEADING brand. Villar — supposedly “MOST TRUSTED” — has never led Aquino in the Pulse Asia and SWS polls.

Even the ABS-CBN February 24 TV Patrol announcement of the Pulse Asia TRUST ratings had a hint of doubt as it enumerated the range of issues that have been hounding Villar when that Pulse Asia poll was conducted. On the other hand, the 11-point lead of Aquino over Villar in the TNS poll is largely seen as the effect of the big issues surrounding the C-5 Road anomalies, conflict of interest and misuse of position and power hurled against Villar.

Your Chair Wrecker has always stated that the SWS and Pulse Asia polls are reliable and even suggested that folks rely only on these two experienced polling firms for gauging voters’ preference. We should be wary of those polling firms that sprout during elections as it had been shown in many instances that they produce questionable results. In 1998, one such polling firm predicted that Joe de Venecia will beat Joseph Estrada.

Our trust for the SWS and Pulse Asia polls must be open to the possibility that they could also occasionally err. Didn’t SWS admit an error in its 2004 presidential election exit poll? It is also possible that their operations could be infiltrated and thus produce polluted results designed to favor a candidate. It is good to probe their findings, ask tough questions and keep them honest.

You can also rely on TNS, now that it is being tapped to survey the various election races. In fact, that TNS poll of January 28 — February 3 had a 3,000 respondent base which is larger than the normal SWS and Pulse Asia polls. ABS-CBN will not be relying on TNS to guide them for programming research if TNS did not meet — or surpass — their expectations. Erroneous TNS findings could lead to a programming — ergo revenue — disaster for the top network.

Despite the odd incidence when a MOST TRUSTED candidate could not grab top poll ratings, folks must understand that there is a big difference between TRUST and VOTE PREFERENCE. The late EDSA icon Jaime Cardinal Sin is easily the MOST TRUSTED person in the country when he was alive but he never was preferred as president.

Serge Osmeña, a survey buff, clarified that historically, trust rating is not significant as it had never translated into voting preference. CNN Hero Efren Penaflorida may be one of the most trusted Filipinos today but it is doubtful if voters will consider electing him if he was running in the May presidential election.

Trust rating is not indicative of voters’ passion for a candidate. Expressed trust could simply mean “I think he can do the job” or “He has the education and experience for the job” but it does not necessarily mean that to the voter the candidate is the best person to lead our country. One must look at TRUST and VOTE PREFERENCE as a case of comparing apples with oranges.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo