With just two weeks into the campaign period for national posts, it appears that the presidential race is down to two horses.
If one believes the surveys, the dictator’s unrepentant son is way, way ahead of the late DILG secretary’s widow.
The metropolitan mayor, the retired boxer, the “Kuratong Baleleng” senator and the labor leader are on their way to being also-rans along with the trailing five relatively unknown candidates.
That is, if one believes the surveys.
For a survey to have a semblance of credibility, it has to be based on demographics to come up with the appropriate number and proper type of respondents in the poll.
In a stratified survey, a lot of demographic factors should be taken into consideration, such as he male-female ratio, the population in the three major island groups, the economic classes, and the age of the voter.
Then there is the suspicion that survey companies use only random respondents, especially those who have the time and are willing to answer questions.
A pre-election survey that does not rely on demographics in choosing respondents and uses a flawed sampling method, the results would be erroneous and false.
The danger is that such unscientific surveys tend to mislead the voting public and present an untrue picture of how they stand vis-à-vis the presidential candidates.
It would not be truly representative of the 62 million registered voters in the 42,000 barangays in the country.
As statistician David Yap pointed out in the 2016 elections, the margin of error will only hold if the survey results are generated from an unbiased sample, one wherein every element of the population has an equal chance of being selected.
Such surveys, Yap stated, provides no discernible benefit and serves only to condition the minds of voters and establish trends that would legitimize or sanitize fraudulent election outcomes.
Then there is the matter of Malacanang and its allies.
The reality in national and local politics is that the ruling administration and its allies in the other political parties can always strong-arm or coerce local officials into publicly showing support for their preferred candidate.
Congressman Hector Sanchez has no choice but to support BBM as he is running under Lakas, which is backing the dictator’s son.
TGP partylist Rep. Jose Teves Jr. reportedly showed up, together with Sanchez, at the proclamation rally of the Uniteam at the Philippine Arena but his wife is backing VP Leni Robredo.
Just last week, Governor Joseph Cua had to put things in proper context when netizens saw a picture of some Bicol governors together with their hands raised apparently in support of BBM in Masbate.
He said he was there on some business with Gov. Antonio Kho, whose family also owns and operates a ferry service, and attended a meeting called by Ilocos kingpin Chavit Singson.
The dictator’s son suddenly showed up, Cua claimed, and he could do nothing when his hand was raised along with two other governors.
The report said that Cua told the group that he could not go against Leni Robredo, Catandunganons being highly conservative.
In fact, he disclosed, he had already caused the printing of P600,000 tarpaulin posters for Robredo’s campaign in the province.
According to Capitol sources, the governor is no longer discussing the issue.
The Masbate meeting is normal for national candidates supported by the sitting administration, who will use every leverage they can to force local officials to do their bidding.
As they say, all politics is local and the choice of the nation’s leader will come down to the individual voter.
Whether they pick the ex-convict with a questionable education, the retired boxer who went out with a bad loss, the bland former police chief with violence in his past, or a widow with a spotless record in public service is rightfully their decision, the surveys and staged expressions of support be damned.