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Unreliable early pre-poll survey

“What could be the probable reason is that some of these very presidential and vice-presidential choices listed may just be clients of the survey firm and are being presented early to gain electoral traction.

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

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It’s very early days yet, but no matter, when it comes to politics and survey takers pushing their bets up the ladder, trust very early pre-election surveys to pop up, what with Publicus-Asia releasing its survey results — not nationwide, with the exclusion of Luzon and Metro Manila, and with the survey reflecting only pre-election votes from the Visayas and Mindanao.

Not surprisingly, presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, have emerged as the top candidates for president and vice president for Visayas and Mindanao voters in 2022, according to a recently held pre-election survey that claims 2,000 registered voters randomly selected as respondents. The survey was conducted from 15-19 November this year.

As a vice-presidential choice, the President’s daughter merely had a survey rating of 11.5 percent, a bit lower in rating compared to her father, who obtained 11.6 percent as a vice-presidential bet.

What appears to stand out is the respondents’ inclusion of the current president in the electoral survey equation, considering the fact that constitutionally, Rodrigo Duterte is limited to a six-year term with no reelection. As a 2022 presidential contender, he should be completely out — unless, of course, President Duterte slides down to the vice-presidential seat, which is a no brainer, especially since he himself has been complaining about the presidency and of his wanting out of it.

And why would the Duterte patriarch even think of gunning for the second highest seat in the land as his daughter’s vice president, especially when he himself has been vocal on his advice for his daughter Sara not to seek the presidency?

At most, with the pre-poll survey showing the respondents’ choice of the incumbent president as a vice-presidential candidate, this perhaps just shows his continuing popularity, especially in his bailiwicks.

Sara Duterte’s rise as a presidential contender in 2022 is hardly surprising, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao. These regions are considered her political bailiwicks and she did prove that she could get the votes from the local government executives for region-wide support, as well as Metro Manila and nearby provinces for her senatorial picks.

The survey claimed that Duterte-Carpio emerged on top from a list of 21 potential presidential candidates with 35 percent of the respondents picking her as their presidential choice, followed by Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares with 11 percent, which numbers are far off from Sara Duterte’s, followed by Manila City Mayor Francis “Isko Moreno” Domagoso with 7.8 percent, that is even farther off from the pre-poll frontrunner.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao was also included in the presidential list with a survey rating of 5.5 percent, along with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano with 4.6 percent and Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, with 4.5 percent.

The vice-presidential listing in the pre-poll Publicus-Asia survey had Domagoso in third place with 9.85 percent, Poe with 9.05 percent, Cayetano with 8.85 percent, and Pacquiao with 7.25.

Publicus-Asia, as a pre-election surveyor, still hasn’t earned its spurs or credentials, and even its pre-poll surveys brought out this early is highly suspected of having been done to get these certain political names flashed in the public’s mind early enough in the electoral picture as political contenders to watch for. Survey takers just don’t come up with presidential pre-election surveys a little over two years away. A survey like this is a useless political survey. At most, what could be the probable reason is that some of these very presidential and vice-presidential choices listed may just be clients of the survey firm and are being presented early to gain electoral traction in 2022.

And why, if Publicus-Asia is an independent survey as it claims, why were only the allies of President Duterte — save for Grace Poe — listed as a vice-presidential contender, included? It is after all, a pre-election survey and it is normal to include non-allies as presidential and vice-presidential potential bets — such as say, Leni Robredo, even if she should be listed at the bottom of the survey?

Not even Bongbong Marcos was included as a presidential or vice-presidential contender, especially as he garnered a lot of votes as a vice-presidential bet in 2016, even as Robredo’s win is being questioned?

Another question for Publicus-Asia: Why does a pre-poll presidential and vice-presidential survey be conducted only in the Visayas and Mindanao? Why exclude registered voters from Luzon and the National Capital Region?

Presidents and vice presidents are picked by the voters, including the NCR region and Publicus-Asia knows it. But perhaps, the survey firm is pushing its client and vice-presidential bet through this pre-poll survey?

Methinks the pre-poll survey is intended to get many of Metro Manila’s probable bets for vice president, if not president, known this early in the Visayas and Mindanao, where such figures are still relatively unknowns — as far as the voters from Mindanao and the Visayas are concerned.

That useless Publicus-Asia pre-poll survey can land straight into the garbage can.

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