Time to adjust campaign tack as countdown begins—Pulse exec

Comparing the last month of campaigning for the May 9 general elections to crunchtime in basketball, Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes said Friday candidates should use the last 30 days—starting today—to calibrate their campaigns because it was still possible to have a “dramatic shift” in their survey numbers.

Holmes also cautioned politicians criticizing the survey results of their polling firm–derisively called “False Asia” by some—to “not shoot the messengers” as the race for elective posts was not yet finished.

“It would really depend on how each candidate would really change their strategy. The last 30 days is like the last 2 minutes of a basketball game,” he told ANC’s Headstart.

“The other team might be leading (by) 12 to 15 points, (but) the last 2 minutes is a crucial thing. If someone shoots five 3-pointers, the game is tied,” added Holmes, whose firm released the results of their second presidential, vice-presidential, senatorial, and party-list surveys on Wednesday.

Still, surveys are not infallible, he added.

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“There’s a level of confidence, a margin of error, but just to dismiss it because the results do not favor you, to me, is a little bit rrational,” Holmes said of candidates bashing the survey results.

“I would caution (them) in terms of going to the extent of shooting the messengers because they would have to realize that message is very important, and it’s something that should assist them in calibrating their strategies.”

It’s not a question of whether the race is done, Holmes said.

“Those 30 days of campaigning will be crucial. It might be best for some candidates to look back in term of their messages, how it can be refined, and trying to escalate activities that will generate support for their candidacy,” he said.

Pulse Asia used the same methodology it applied in previous polls in its latest March pre-election survey, the polling firm chief said, in explaining why they did not get respondents from the most affluent classes A and B for two consecutive surveys.

All social classes have the same chance to be randomly selected, he said, as A and B only make up “about 1 percent” of the combined ABC electorate, Holmes added.

“We try to get AB. Unfortunately, there’s no one among the randomly selected respondents who belongs to class AB,” he said.

“There’s no exclusion, everyone has the same chance of being selected. There are more people that might be selected from this particular group. This is the same method we’ve been using in the past,” Holmes added.

He also admitted pollsters had difficulty getting respondents from classes A and B.

“In the metropolis, they reside in gated subdivisions, condominiums with high security. In the provinces, maybe some of them were taken initially, but they refused to be interviewed. You cannot force people to be interviewed, that’s unethical,” Holmes said.

Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos kept his lead in Pulse Asia’s March survey, with 56 percent of 2,400 respondents saying they would vote for him if the elections were held that month.

Vice President Leni Robredo remained second but saw her score rise by 9 points to 24 percent, from 15 in February.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso was at third with 8 percent, followed by Sen. Manny Pacquiao with 6 percent and Sen. Panfilo Lacson with 2 percent.

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