If the maximum point of peril -for the elections being postponed- was Wednesday, until this afternoon, there were still rumblings that the President had gone back to wanting a postponement. The last pre-election survey may have something to do with this, but then again, the momentum had already shifted to Aquino: on April 29 Amando Doronila who has been observing elections since the Magsaysay campaign already called it A landslide in the making. This is in the post-Edsa sense of the word, in terms of the margin of the winning candidates’ edge over his nearest rival; but also offers up prospects of the first majority win since 1986. It is entirely within the realm of possibility, given the large number ((9% give or take) of undecided voters. What is troubling for the usual suspects is that these numbers do not leave much wiggle room for either shaving Aquino’s votes or padding his opponents’.
Finally, this afternoon, the Supreme Court issued a statement saying it had rejected the petitions to postpone the elections.
So the story on everybody’s lips today -whether one attended any of the Mitings de Avance- is this. The Estrada-Binay tandem are front and center, based on the last pre-election survey, by SWS, which was formally released today but leaked yesterday.
Estrada has overtaken Villar for second place in the presidential derby (though Aquino has a two-to-one lead over Estrada)
While Binay has zommed up in direct proportion to how Legarda is crashing, putting Binay neck-and-neck with Roxas. SWS lists Binay first because he has a fractional margin over Roxas.
So the big story is: they’re baaack! And political junkies are are atwitter over the hows and whys. It might be good at this point to review what public opinion polling has been saying since my last update on this (see Second Leg, March 12, 2010).
Social Weather Stations‘ May 2-3 poll is the freshest; the two other surveys most political camps consider seriously are Pulse Asia and the in-house effort of The Manila Standard Today. A good reading on the role of surveys is in Random Salt: A consensus in the making.
In chronological order, starting April, here were the surveys prior to the latest (May) SWS:
I. Social Weather Stations April 16-19 survey. This has the most complete reporting of interesting data, though SWS says on its website it will publish corresponding updates 2-3 days after BusinessWorld published its findings (today).
By socio-economic class (trends and breakdown)
For the National Capital Region and Balance Luzon (basically 56% of voters):
For the Visayas:
II. Manila Standard Today April 25-27 survey.
By region/socio-enomic class:
By region/socio-economic class:
The three major surveys all serve to act as checks on each other; Pulse has been the first to report, the MST poll tends to come in the middle, and SWS is last in the survey cycle: hence, in the findings reproduced above, SWS represented the end of the March-April cycle and Pulse kicked off the final April-May cycle. But the latter two generally confirms the findings of the first.
Estrada’s numbers were generally steady, but dipped then recovered as Villar’s numbers dipped; Villar ofr his part lost momentum while failing to send Aquino into a sustained dive -instead, he held steady and has regained momentum at the last part of the campaign.
Binay has made a series of significant jumps (the first in Dec.-Jan.), particularly as Legarda’s numbers have crashed -his gains in direct relation to Legarda’s losses. Roxas, on the other hand, has been gliding downwards.
There’s an interesting story here, and it’s about the clash in approaches to campaigning evident in all the campaigns: between those who believed in “air war” and those who believe in “ground war.”
The most extreme practitioner, perhaps, was Villar who believed in carpet-bombing; but his efforts failed; Aquino has had a mixed record in terms of the air war both in terms of initial logistics and an evolving ad strategy; Estrada and Binay, however, stuck to a tried-and-tested formula and in this, while Estrada has regained his former numbers, it’s Binay who perhaps offered something more attractive to voters -the Makati Dream.
Roxas may have been too focused on Legarda, not noticing Binay chugging along, gaining momentum until that momentum had already been reached -Escudero’s declaration in favor of Aquino-Binay being the open declaration of coming in for the kill. This points to another interesting phenomenon: that there are supporters of Aquino more comfortable with Binay as Veep than Roxas.
At the same time, in terms of the ground war, Aquino has proven himself an able campaigner on the stump, while Estrada from the start went on the stump in traditional style: only the two have been reported as really being able to excite large crowds. So as with all things, the dividends seem to be going to the candidates who managed to strike a balance between air and ground war methods.