Sunday, March 14, 2010

“I’ll not stop till I’m No. 1,” says Gibo

MANILA, Philippines - “I’ll not stop till I’m No. 1.” This was the quick and brief reply of Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential candidate Gibo Teodoro when asked by reporters in a chance interview to comment on the results of the latest tracking poll showing a dramatic bounce in his ratings to No. 2 among this year’s presidentiables.

Gibo was interviewed by journalists at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City, where he spoke about banking reforms and other issues during the national convention of the Chamber of Thrift Banks of the Philippines.

The third tracking poll by the political research outfit The Campaigns & Image Group showed that although Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar of the Nacionalista Party (NP) remains on top, Gibo has jumped to 2nd place after overtaking Sen. Benigno "Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party (LP).

Campaigns & Image Group, has predicted a surge in Gibo’s rating in the second half of this year’s electoral campaign season on the strength of his strong support among the youth and the formidable Lakas-Kampi-CMD machinery.

In this latest poll that Campaigns & Image conducted with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), Villar remained the survey frontrunner with a rating of 31%, up by 3 percentage points from his previous rating of 27% in the earlier survey done in the week ending Feb. 17.

Gibo followed with 24%, which is a significant increase of 6 percentage points from his previous rating of 18% in the Feb. 17 survey.

Aquino dropped 8 percentage points to 20% from his previous rating of 28% in the Feb. 17 survey. When Campaigns & Image first did its survey of voter’s preferences for President in Dec. 2009, Aquino’s rating was at 31% and remained unchanged a month later when the group conducted its January survey.

Former President Joseph Estrada landed in fourth place with 13%, which was an increase of 6 percentage points from his rating of 7% in the previous survey. Sen. Richard Gordon got 5% and TV evangelist Eddie Villanueva, 2% in the March survey where 4% of the voters were still undecided on their choice of presidential candidate for the May 10 elections.

Gibo’s rating of 24% in the survey conducted by Campaigns & Image and the PPCRV during the week ending March 7 was enough to dislodge from second place Aquino, whose rating has been steadily declining as shown in the three previous surveys of voters’ preferences for President done jointly by these two groups.

In its analysis of the poll results, Campaigns & Image said Gibo’s ratings took off from single-digit levels in December 2009 to 24% in March due to “the political machinery of the administration party and (his efforts of) touching base with local government politicians seeking re-election into various offices.”

It also noted that Gibo’s campaign relies heavily on “a large network of volunteers … colleges and universities that by far put him well-entrenched in the psyche of voters across the 18-28 and 29-39 age brackets.”

Gibo’s jump in the surveys could be attributed, said Campaigns & Image, to “the political machinery of the administration party and (his efforts of) touching base with local government politicians seeking re-election into various offices.”

Gibo’s ratings, according to the research firm, is expected to further surge when the campaign period for local bets kick off on March 27, which is the time when the ruling party’s machinery that reaches down to the grassroots would start to work full blast in his favor.

Conducted among 5,100 adults of voting age nationwide, the separate survey by Campaigns and Image asked the respondents the question: “Who among the 10 presidential candidates do you think is capable of governing the Philippines and for whom will you be voting for the presidency?”

“This survey by the Campaigns & Image Group is by far the most comprehensive, easy-to-follow presentation because, unlike its Pulse Asia, TNS and SWS counterparts, it pinpoints the reasons for any change—increase or decrease—in the governance capability rating (GCR) of candidates,” it said.

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