I have been waiting for the Social Weather Station (SWS) to conduct a survey on people’s preference for president in 2010, this after results of polls involving only limited areas were released last month. Would the result of an SWS survey validate Sen. Benigno Aquino III’s status as the top presidentiable? That was a question that caught my interest.
Finally, SWS released yesterday the result of its “Third Quarter 2009” survey conducted from September 18-21, 2009 on 1,800 adult respondents nationwide. The poll, according to SWS website (www.sws.org.ph) was non-commissioned and “was done on SWS’ own initiative as a public service.” That should lessen suspicions of SWS motive.
I am not fully sold out on surveys, as these are partly dependent on respondents’ understanding of the questions thrown at them. In this survey, part of the question was: “Sinu-sino sa palagay ninyo ang mga magagaling na lider na dapat pumalit kay Pang. Arroyo bilang Presidente? Maaari po kayong magbanggit ng hanggang tatlong sagot.”
The survey result was no different from the others in that Noynoy grabbed the top spot, but his rating this time breached the 60 percent mark. The others virtually settled for crumbs, with Sen. Manuel Villar a far second with 37 percent. Farther down were former president Joseph Estrada with 18 percent and Sen. Francis Escudero with 15 percent.
Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, standard bearer of the administration party Lakas-Kampi and who seems to be the favorite of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, continued his miserable run in the surveys, managing to get only four percent. At least Escudero, who appears to be Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s preference, is up 11 percent over Gibo.
My take has been that there is still room for Noynoy to improve his rating once he starts to openly woo votes like what, say, Villar has been doing for months now through his infamous infomercials. Aquino is still an enigma to many voters, and this has allowed critics to claim he is TWA (talagang walang alam) without them being contradicted.
Incidentally, supporters of the other presidentiables are already working overtime to pull Noynoy’s rating down by hitting him low. Not content with spreading lies about his gender, they are insinuating he is mentally impaired. I take that as a sign of worry, even desperation. But I doubt if that would have an effect on Noynoy’s rating overall.
(This came out in my October 15, 2009 column in Sun.Star Cebu)