Monday, March 15, 2010

Strong youth support, party machinery to boost Gibo's ratings, says pollster

MANILA, Philippines - Ever-growing support of the youth sector along with the formidable political machinery of Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) will all the more further shore up the ratings of former defense secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr, who has already overtaken Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III from the No. 2 slot in the latest nationwide poll of the current crop of presidentiables, according to an analysis done by an independent research firm.

The Campaigns & Image Group, which conducted its latest survey in partnership with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), 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 Teodoro’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 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 by Campaigns & Image among 5,100 adults of voting age nationwide during the period ending March 7, this survey showed Villar of the Nacionalista Party (NP) remaining on top, but with Teodoro jumping to second place after having overtaken Senator Benigno "Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party (LP).

Villar remained the survey front runner 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. Teodoro 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.

Senator 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.

“As the campaign period for local candidates kick off on March 27, the top-of-mind shares for Teodoro is expected to increase by 800%. Like (Sen. Manuel) Villar, first-name choice for Teodoro among voters will be higher in subsequent surveys,” Campaigns & Image said.

It likewise noted that Teodoro’s campaign took off on a relatively late start compared to his fellow contenders in the presidential race, which was why his ratings were on single-digit levels in December 2009 and January 2010.

The poll was done three weeks after the start of the official campaign period for national posts in the May 10 elections.

In its analysis of the survey results, Campaigns & Image attributed Aquino’s continued slide “to widespread perception about his lack of management experience and leadership.”

“Because most of the provincial and mayoralty candidates of the Liberal Party are over 65 years old, they had been unable to shore up (Aquino’s) ascendancy among young and middle-aged voters,” Campaigns & Image said.

The survey group also said that Aquino’s “good-versus-evil” type of messaging produced “a strong adverse reaction among voters in the industrial sector that expected him to avoid mudslinging and present a decent, high-level, platform-oriented campaign.”

This survey 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?”

Campaigns & Image said that to gauge the governance capability rating (GCR) of each candidate, it also asked respondents the question: How do you rate your preferred candidate in accordance with the following parameters (—leadership, experience, integrity, transparency, platform and accessibility)?

Based on this question, Villar got a GCR of 81%, followed by Teodoro with 74%, Aquino with 70%, and Estrada 62%.

“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,” the group said.

“The GCR includes the voters’ perception on individual qualification (leadership ability and management experience), track record (accessibility, integrity, and transparency) and relevance of platform.”

Campaigns & Image noted that “there is a corresponding percentage weight for each of the parameters that add up to a candidate’s GCR.”

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