Prexy bets claim survey results ‘mind conditioning’

Three presidential aspirants have questioned the results of pre-election surveys, which they said have conditioned the minds of Filipinos that the May 9 polls is a two-way fight between Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

NO WITHDRAWAL. Presidential candidates Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso, former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, and Sen. Panfilo Lacson show a signed copy of their joint statement during a press conference in Makati City on April 17, 2022. The three doused speculation they would withdraw from the race to improve the chances of Vice President Leni Robredo. Danny Pata

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso claimed they have “evidence” that the surveys have become “polluted.”

“Subject to verification, we can prove to you that the surveys have become polluted. We have evidence already on hand, and we are just verifying it,” he said, adding his camp has already talked to people who conduct the survey on the ground.

“Pulse Asia and SWS may not know it because they are the ones analyzing, but the raw data they are getting, maybe, should be subjected to further study,” Domagoso said.

Former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said the house-to-house surveys have been “outsourced.”

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“The problem is there is only one firm doing the actual survey and so the respondents come from the same population. That is why the results are almost the same,” he said.

He said survey firms have also excluded respondents from the socio-economic class AB.

Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes earlier said none of their randomly selected respondents could be classified as belonging to Class AB.

Gated communities, including subdivisions and condominiums, are more difficult to access especially amid the pandemic, making it harder to reach potential AB respondents, Holmes said.

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, for his part, said he found it impossible for more than half of the voters to be supportive of Marcos.

“I cannot believe, for the life of me, that 50 percent [of Filipinos] are loyalists. The dark legacy of Martial Law is still there,” he said.

Lacson said Marcos’ wide lead in recent surveys may have been propped up by a “negative attitude” toward Robredo.

“The psyche of Filipinos is to lean toward who’s winning. That’s why we are here, to remind the people that there are other candidates running – equally qualified and competent, if not more qualified and competent,” Lacson added.

Meanwhile, PUBLiCUS Asia said based on its latest survey, some three out of four respondents to its March 30 to April 6, 2022 pre-election survey said they were unlikely to change their choice for president before May 9, suggesting high levels of vote firmness.

Respondents to the Pahayag 2022 First Quarter Survey who selected a candidate for president were asked to choose among five options that may best describe the likelihood of changing their vote.

At least 64 percent said they would “definitely not change” their vote, while another 13 percent said they will “likely not change” their vote. Only 16 percent said they “may or may not” change their presidential vote and one percent said they would “likely change” their choice for president.

“Vote firmness measures the elasticity of a candidate’s vote share by gauging the likelihood of his or her supporters switching allegiances to another candidate. Voters who say they would definitely not change, or likely not change, their vote are considered ‘firm voters’ who form the floor of a candidate’s support. In other words, the proportion of firm voters indicates the candidate’s hardcore base of support that is unlikely to be swayed or converted by other candidates,” said Aureli Sinsuat, Executive Director of PUBLiCUS.

Marcos notched the largest proportion of firm voters in the PUBLiCUS survey. At least 88 percent of respondents who indicated Marcos as their choice for president said they would definitely not change or likely not change their vote.

Robredo also enjoyed relatively high firm voter support, with 79 percent of her voters saying they would definitely or likely not change their vote.

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