Noynoy Aquino makes his first major tactical blunder
we think making a big deal of the most recent SWS presidentiables poll conducted in Luzon (sponsored by former senator osmena) is a major tactical blunder on the part of noynoy aquino. the smart thing to do would have been to be humble and aggressively downplay it.
going in we have problems with that survey. we think it’s garbage data. (click here to read about the Luzon Osmena-sponsored SWS Luzon survey: http://wp.me/pnw03-FV)
over and above the question on the design and therefore the value of that survey, the tactical blunder will be made obvious on what comes next.
SWS and Pulse Asia conducts on a regular basis their own and separate presidentiables survey. they have been doing these polls for a long time already. we think results from these surveys are very reliable.
the major tactical blunder is that with noynoy making a big deal of the very high results (rating of 50%) within the limited Luzon survey (sponsored by former senator osmena), he has set himself up for failure when the regular quarterly presidential polls conducted by SWS and Pulse Asia are conducted and released.
we do not think noynoy will get the same 50% rating in these polls. it will be a miracle if he does, or even come close to it. we think noynoy might get a 2 digit rating but we do not think it will be more than 13%.
in the last Pulse Asia poll conducted in August, (read here: http://wp.me/pnw03-B4) there were 5 presidentiables who got double digit ratings – villar(25%), estrada (19%), de castro (12%), escudero and roxas (11%) in that order.
the ratings are flatter for the simple reason that the presidentiable choices are too many. we do not think noynoy will be able to even match villar’s 25%. roxas who was fifth and got a double digit rating who has now withdrawn his candidacy will still get preferences. it will not be as high as 11% but it will not be zero. it is also improbable that those who voted for roxas will automatically vote for aquino.
for noynoy to get a 50% rating or even a 25% rating, he will need to get a huge number, in fact massive number of switchers from these presidentiables which is just impossible at this point in time. massive shifts only occur if a major almost cataclysmic change occur among the presidentiables. announcing you are a presidentiable is not cataclysmic in magnitude.
aside from the mind dynamics of choices that voters go through, the survey design of the Luzon Osmena-sponsored Survey is very different from that of the regular quarterly surveys that Pulse Asia and SWS conducts. in fact i have pointed out that the design of the Luzon Osmena-sponsored survey is a faulty one that renders it as garbage data.
one of its fault is that the design is biased to producing very high scores compared to the regular quarterly surveys. the Luzon Osmena-sponsored survey asks respondents to choose among a specified list of presidentiables while the SWS and Pulse Asia surveys does not. it is open-ended, you name whoever you want.
you can mention any name, thus making distribution of the data highly scattered in effect making the ratings much lower for each candidate. it does not for example exclude respondents from naming roxas or panlilio both of whom have withdrawn.
the tactical blunder is that with noynoy making a big deal about the very high 50% rating that he got in the Luzon Osmena-sponsored luzon SWS survey and the expected much lower rating he will get during the regular SWS survey Pulse Asia and SWS does, it will make it look like noynoy’s popularity has suffered a major set-back.
from 50% to at most 13% looks like it is a massive drop in popularity. playing the numbers game with these things is always a very dangerous thing to do. in fact regardless of the numbers, if aquino does not hit the top 2 in the regular quarterly ratings, it may be played up as some kind of a weakness if not a failure.
the tactical blunder is that aquino has inadvertently set up his audience and supporters for disappointment. he may have set the bar of expectations way too high.
political campaigns is very much about image building. building an image of being a winner is certainly one of the things you want to have. you want to nurture an image of momentum if not greatness or at least always being on the right thing.
the safest and smartest approach is always to downplay achievements, or hit the lower side so that there is an automatic claim of success. raising the bar too high is a very dangerous thing as it does not leave room for failure which is what aquino has done.