The desperate moves of very desperate people
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-04-27

The most recent presidential polls have placed Liberal Party presidential candidate Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III leading his closest rival, Nacionalista Party’s Manny Villar, by a double digit margin that ranges from 12% to as high as 18%.

In the latest SWS (Social Weather Stations)-BusinessWorld April 16-19 nationwide poll, Aquino’s lead over Villar expanded to 12%, 38% for Aquino versus 26% for Villar. In the latest Manila Standard April 18-20 nationwide poll, Aquino led Villar by 15%, 38% for Aquino versus 23% for Villar.

In the Manila Broadcasting-DZRH April 16 nationwide poll with 6,900 respondents, Aquino led with 38.6%, followed by Villar with 22.8%, former President Joseph Estrada with 21.2%, former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro with 11.3%, Eddie Villanueva with 2.7% and Sen. Richard Gordon with 1.6%.

In a poll said to have been commissioned by Local Government Secretary Ronnie Puno, which was a STAR news story last Sunday, Aquino led with 41%. Estrada came in second with 25% while Villar sank to third place with 23%. That placed Villar 18% behind Aquino.   

With just a week and a half of campaigning left, it is understandable for Aquino’s rivals to resort to desperate means — including the promotion of PULP FICTION which they attempt to pass off as legitimate campaign issue. Clearly dirty black propaganda, these falsehoods have not affected Aquino. Instead, these insidious attempts have boomeranged against Aquino’s rival and added to the growing fear of what can happen to our country under a person who utilizes such foul means.

Take the case of the TOPAK (personality quirk) issue that came with the fake psychiatric report. Despite the fact that the psychiatric report was clearly proved to be a work of malicious fiction, known pro-Villar and pro-Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) columnists and commentators are still trying to belabor and promote the non-issue. They even gave it new twists and variations — hoping perhaps that the new element will finally sell the fiction. It did not. What they’ve accomplished is to reinforce the perception that ‘Villarroyo’ is true as it became very evident that known pro-GMA and Pro-Villar media factors are singing the same tune and selling the same fiction.

The fact that Estrada has started attacking Villar (using Villar’s Vista Land IPO as issue) shows that Estrada now smells Villar’s blood after seeing that Villar has suffered a severe credibility gap which caused Villar’s ratings to plummet. Previously, Estrada simply focused on selling his values and left the prosecution of issues to Aquino and Villar. Estrada must have realized that he does not automatically gain from the Aquino-Villar war of attrition and that he must actively get his additional points from Villar.

Both Villar and Estrada had pitched their positioning on the mahirap (poor). The polls showing the erosion of Villar’s ratings also show that Estrada gained from it. Between Villar and Estrada, they combine for about 42% in ratings. Estrada can narrow the lead of Aquino if he can get more points from Villar.

StratPOLLS Executive Director, Professor Alfredo Suret Jr., shared an analysis of the last four presidential polls indicating that Aquino enjoys a solid 37% base. Estrada won a landslide victory in 1998 with a 38% vote total. The 2010 voting population is now much larger than that of 1998. That means that at 37% Aquino will win more votes than Estrada’s 38% in 1998.

Following marketing trends, the bulk of the undecided voters will tend to go to Aquino because he is what is called the dominant brand. Now, it is also very possible that many Teodoro, Villanueva, Gordon, Jamby Madrigal, Nick Perlas, JC de los Reyes followers will opt to vote for Aquino if they think that he is the best choice among the top three presidential candidates.

Still on the subject of desperate moves, the recent filing of a court case by Dick Gordon against SWS and Pulse Asia took your Chair Wrecker by surprise. Knowing Dick to have been a former P & G (Procter and Gamble) marketing executive, Dick should be the last to question surveys. Almost every step in the P & G marketing and advertising development is subjected to research.

Dick should know that the FACE TO FACE method of polling by SWS and Pulse Asia is one of the best ways to get accurate results. In some countries, face to face interviews have been substituted due to cost considerations, political and cultural constraints, weather conditions and so forth — but not because it is an inferior method of research.

Dick’s move left many people wondering. Was Dick just a case of being a sore loser in trying to pin the blame for his impending loss to the polling firms? Or is Dick fronting for someone in trying to get a TRO (temporary restraining order) that will prevent the release of the last SWS and Pulse Asia polls which will show that Aquino’s lead is now beyond cheating?

With the results of the latest SWS, Manila Standard Today and Pulse Asia polls, there is no way Aquino can be cheated without causing a major public outcry, very possibly People Power. Try depriving a starving man of the steak he can smell already and you’ll provoke a violent reaction.

  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

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