Friday, March 19, 2010

Gibo campaign may peak on back of Lakas-Kampi machinery

Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential candidate Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. greets students of Father Saturnino Urios University during his campus tour Thursday, March 18, 2010. Teodoro has been getting wide-margin victories in mock presidential elections in state campuses and private universities and colleges in Metro Manila and the regions. Teodoro has emerged with a critical base of support from the youth sector. And Edu Manzano, running mate of Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential candidate Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr.,
receives a warm welcome from supporters upon his arrival at Butuan
airport Thursday, March 18.

Pollsters have pointed to a possible “strong surge” in the survey ratings of presidential candidate Gibo Teodoro during the latter half of the campaign season when the machinery of the ruling party Lakas-Kampi-CMD could make its presence felt.

In a recent briefing in Makati City this week, the head of Stratpolls pointed to the possibility of a surge in Gibo’s ratings when the local election campaign period starts in March “when the Lakas-Kampi-CMD party’s advantage in terms of political machinery, could make its presence felt.”

This independent survey group, in partnership with the news daily Business Mirror, released their latest nationwide survey of 1,500 voters from February 26 to March 3, 2010, showing the ratings of Gibo and the other contenders in the May 10 presidential race.

Stratpoll’s second and third tracking polls showed Gibo’s rating breaking through the double-digit level to 11 percent, compared to 4 and 7 percent in the Pulse Asia and SWS surveys of the same period, respectively.

However, a separate survey by The Campaigns & Image Group of over 5,000 respondents nationwide showed Gibo coming in a strong 2nd to Sen. Manuel Villar as his strong showing, especially among the youth, enabled him to overtake Sen. Benigno Aquino III and former President Joseph Estrada.

According to the third tracking poll of Campaigns & Image, Villar is still on top with 31 percent, followed by Teodoro with 24 percent; Aquino, 20 percent; and Estrada, 13 percent.

Campaigns & Image also said in its analysis of the third survey results that Gibo’s rating could surge next month after the March 26 start of the official campaign season for local candidates.

“Secretary Teodoro’s fourth ranking at this point, is understandable, given that he came late into the race,” Sureta told reporters during a press conference at the BusinessMirror office in Makati City.

“The other candidates had been preparing for this elections as early as two years ago. But as voters, particularly the youth—though not limited to them—get a chance to hear the former defense secretary speak, combined with his party’s strong political machinery whose influence may kick in after the local elections in March, I wouldn’t discount him from making this a tighter race,” he said.

Former press secretary Mike Toledo said “The results of this survey and Professor Sureta’s insightful observations confirm that we’re on the right track with regard to Gibo’s campaign strategy. The youth vote and the ruling party’s campaign machinery—these are Gibo’s “secret weapons, and we intend to use these to the hilt to guarantee his electoral victory come May 10.”

Toledo, who is now Gibo’s spokesman, said Gibo has an apparent lock on the support of the youth, who comprise the majority of this year’s balloting, as more and more students and other young Filipinos realize that he is the most qualified and deserving to be the country’s next president—given his impressive credentials and proposed concrete programs to address the country’s pressing woes.

“They have either witnessed for themselves how he has outshone his rivals during presidential forums and debates or heard him explain his doable platform of government in clear, simple terms,” he explained.

“At the same time, we recognize the need for Gibo to attract a wider voter base, which is why a major focus of Gibo’s strategy is to visit depressed communities all over the country to personally hear the concerns of our underprivileged countrymen, and reach out to them,” he said.

Toledo described the youth vote as “a potent sector that does not easily fall prey to campaign gimmicks and empty promises made by candidates”, as shown by the results of surveys or mock presidential elections held in universities and colleges, and the overwhelmingly warm reception that Gibo has been receiving during his campus tours nationwide.”

“The youth is not only the most discerning, but is also the biggest voting bloc in this year’s elections,” Toledo pointed out.

Besides this strength, Toledo said Gibo could count on the Lakas-Kampi-CMD’s formidable campaign machinery, which extends down to the grassroots.

“The ruling party has candidates for 170 or 73.9% of all House seats up for grabs, 64 or 80% of the 86 gubernatorial posts, 86 or 71.7% of 126 city mayoralty slots, and 1,043 or 69% of all seats for municipal mayors,” he explained.

“A machinery that reaches down to the grassroots easily accounts for 15% of the votes for a candidate vying for a national post. In contrast, Gibo’s closest rivals can only fill up candidates in as much as 41% of the local posts at stake in the May balloting.”

“Once the official campaign period for local candidates starts later this month, the full weight of the ruling party machinery will kick in–to deliver the decisive number of votes that would catapult Gibo to the presidency via the May 10 balloting,” Toledo said.

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