will leni robredo get a boost after Mar Roxas has announced she is his VP running mate and most specially after president Noynoy Aquino endorsed her candidacy? mar roxas got a tremendous boost when Aquino anointed Roxas – from being a far 4th in the surveys, his ranking jumped to a tie at 2nd or a close 3rd.
robredo is nowhere in the polls – a very far 5th to not registering at all in another. getting her rank within the top 3 means Aquino’s endorsement do have super powers. the next survey results will be very important to Robredo, it will define her as a legitimate candidate.
survey results notwithstanding, Robredo has 2 huge but very basic marketing things that she needs to do to win:
- address low awareness on a national level – robredo may be known in here hometown and to some degree in Metro Manila but she is hardly known in the rest of the country. that is a key issue as the position she is running for is national in scope, she needs the rest of the country to know who she is.
- what is the Leni Robredo brand equity or brand positioning? together with the issue of low awareness, Robredo’s other big problem and this can be much bigger than the first is nobody knows what she stands for. what is her brand equity or brand positioning of Robredo?
awareness is the first problem that needs to be solved, the next one is brand positioning. they can be done at the same time. the first can be solved with heavy advertising and heavy exposure to the voters. i would think Robredo needs to be seen and be with the voters every day until election time. her media team ought to be the best among all the candidates to get her in the press.
in many ways that is the easier part than the second one – brand positioning. brand positioning involves defining who she is, differentiating versus the other VP candidates, being preferred over any of them and most specially to appeal to the voters.
those are classic and pretty basic marketing needs but that is very difficult to do in politics. among many other things, in politics, you are given only 1 chance to get it right or at times twice if you get lucky. in marketing mass consumer products, you get as many times as your budget will allow you and over whatever period of time your P&L can accommodate. no such thing in politics. in politics there is a finite deadline that will not move and you only get a chance only once – by election day. getting it right the first time will be critical and based on your observations, if you get it right the first time, you will need a rehash or an improvement towards the end of the campaign after your competition has responded to your first effort.
Robredo in some way has started defining her brand equity and this is centered on the use of the tsinelas as core visual and core thinking. we saw on twitter a few of the visuals that expressed that idea which we thought was a very good choice and had very good applications.
we thought the use of the tsinelas was a very smart idea. not only does everyone know what it is, every Filipino owns at least one pair of tsinelas. it is what we use at home on a daily basis and for many of us it is the only kind of footwear we own. the population of the philippines is mostly made of the poor, with very little money to even buy food on a daily basis, the tsinelas is the only footwear many could afford to buy.
the tsinelas is an ownable idea and visual – nobody has used it and it was often used by Robredo’s late husband, Jesse. he was known to use his tsinelas to work as mayor in Naga and when he was appointed by Aquino as DILG chief. back in Naga, his constant use of the tsinelas was known as his brand of governance – down to earth, poor-oriented and always being with the people. the tsinelas was the well-loved trademark of Jesse Robredo.
Levi’s use of the tsinelas declares to the voters that just like her husband Jesse, it is also her own brand of governance.
it also helps that the execution of the tsinelas as a visual in her meme materials was excellently done. it is unobtrusive, tastefully done but dominantly catches attention. the yellow color of the tsinelas uses the same color Cory used an her son president Noynoy and the Daang Matuwid group.
this is a good beginning for Robredo but we are hoping this will not end here and that it will evolve to something more substantive in the near future.
she needs to be more substantive than just the tsinelas idea as she is against other candidates who have been on the national stage and wth stronger good or bad credentials. more importantly, she is running for the position of the vice-president, the second highest position in the country and the expectations are much higher than being an HOR rep of a district in the Bicol area.
and she needs to do this quickly, election time is coming. the time is short and she needs to get it across in such a wide area in short period of time. we think she will need very high advertising spending to achieve this.
is robredo up to the challenge of the big time?
there is no other way to describe what has been happening to presidentiable Jejomar Binay and his presidential campaign – his supporters are abandoning him in what can only be called a mass exodus. this is the PDI headline from the most recent survey from Pulse Asia:
this is a survey from Pulse Asia on the performance and trust rating of Binay as vice-president. this survey asks the performance and trust ratings of the top officials in the government from the president to the speaker of the house and senate to the chief justice. this is different from the election surveys that Pulse Asia (and SWS) have been conducting.
this survey asks respondents of their sentiments in the way Binay is performing his job as vice-president. people will be responding to that question based on what they think a vice president should be doing. Binay’s run for the president is not mentioned in the question that is being asked here.
the results were devastating for Binay – he took a free fall on trust and performance to his lowest level in the process losing a whopping-15% points from 58% to 43% of his approval rating on his performance of his job.
equally devastating is his trust ratings also nose dived by losing-18% points from 57% to 39%.
source : Philippine Daily Inquirer http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/727269/pulse-asia-binay-ratings-dive
those are very dramatic losses that will make any candidate or even a pollster shudder in fear. this means that on this aspect of Binay’s political life, people are very disappointed with him and that he is being abandoned by his supporters. the vice-president position is a very easy position to fulfill – because of the nature of the job, there are very little things to do unlike say the president or even the cabinet secretaries. because of the ease, the vice president in most surveys typically gets a much higher performance and trust rating than the president.
for Jejomar Binay to get a lower rating than Aquino in this survey says a lot about the huge disappointment that people have on Binay.
in a newspaper report, Binay questions the credibility of this survey by saying he has already resigned his cabinet posts when the survey was conducted, wondering what it was the respondents were rating him for his performance and trust.
Binay is mistaken and raises an irrelevant issue – the survey had asked the respondents on his performance and trust as vice president of the country, not as any of the cabinet post he has occupied and resigned from. respondents are measuring him on the basis of what the respondents think is the job and function of the vice president. as vice-president of the country, the respondents have seen his performance and trust dramatically drop.
in recent surveys released previous to this, Binay’s ratings have shown his declining ratings continue to drop. not only that, his ranking has changed from a high 2nd to either being tied by Roxas at 2nd or falling to 3rd/4th position. the ratings of mar roxas, the LP and admin standard bearer has seen his ratings surge up both in terms of numbers and position where he used to be a far 4th to now a tie at 2nd (posted here in this blog).
the questions asked of the respondents here were point blank – who would they elect as president if the elections were held at the time of the survey and who they think is a good leader to replace Aquino as president.
Binay getting declining numbers on these different surveys says a large part of Binay’s supporters are abandoning Binay in a mass exodus. they are abandoning Binay based on different dimensions of the candidate as Binay – on trust and performance as VP, as a good leader to replace Aquino and as presidential candidate. Binay is being looked at from different dimensions by the voters and in all aspects they no longer see Binay as fit.
on their own these are already dramatic and impressive declines. put that further into context, Binay used to be the top on all the surveys just a few months ago. he was all alone on top with no one even close to challenge him. Binay’s standing started to erode when alleged charges of corruption and plunder were revealed at the senate hearings. at the height of the weekly hearings, when it became vey apparent that Binay was mired in multiple corruption charges, Grace Poe a neophyte senator surged up in the surveys .
the voters saw Binay as the evil one based on the alleged charges while they saw Poe as good in an election that quickly got into a question of an election of Good vs Evil.
we have said this before. Binay should recognize what is happening to his candidacy, these survey numbers are real and representing real sentiments. the sentiments are astoundingly consistent from many dimensions. for him to change his fortunes, he needs to wear big boy pants and face the charges that have been made against him. until he does that, the declining trend will not change and continue until the actual 2016 election.
does binay have big boy pants?
The survey was conducted Septemebr 2 to 5, 2105 and has the following ratings for the three presidentiables :
- Grace Poe : 26%
- Jemomar Binay : 24% (difference vs Poe – 2% points)
- Mar Roxas : 20% (dofference vs Binay – 4% points)
With a margin of error at +/- 3%, Poe and Binay are on a statistical tie while Roxas vs Binay with a difference of 4% points is statistically significant but it being just shy by 1% point, that is considered a statistical tie.
unlike the other SWS survey which was an options survey (respondents were asked to name 3 candidates who can replace Aquino), this is a real elections survey where respondents were asked to identify only 1 candidate who they might vote as president if the elections were held during the time of the survey.
this survey gave a triple whammy to all three presdientiables Poe, Binay and Roxas.
1st whammy – this is the biggest whammy and it is for the benefit of Mar Roxas. mar roxas before this survey was a far third to Poe and Binay. roxas jumping to tie the front runners is a big jump for roxas. this mimics the same kind of giant improvement that Roxas got in the other SWS survey where he got a +18% point improvement catapulting him to 2nd position (read here: http://wp.me/pnw03-1W0).
this shows Roxas is a legitimate contender in the election and is on an impressive increasing trend. the increasing trend will serve Roxas well as we move to the actual election in 2016, this means Roxas is building his support base at the same time the support base of Poe and Binay are not moving if not weakening.
2nd whammy – this one hurts Garce Poe. Poe in previous surveys showed she was way ahead of the others and was a clear leader. this survey with two of her rivals catching up with her shows she is not invincible. it says she can be beaten.
3rd whammy – this hurts Jejomar Binay. Binay used to be the runaway winner in the polls but his ratings have been suffering and was on a massive declining trend since the corruption and plunder charges have been exposed in the senate. Binay just getting a tie with the two others means Binay has not arrested his declining trend and continue to suffer in the polls.
unless Binay changes things, like address the corruption and plunder charges against him, the declining trend will continue and his numbers will shrink significantly by election time. it is possible that the shrinkage will be big enough that the other leaders will overtake him.
Roxas’ ratings have gone up driven by the endorsement of President Aquino for his presidentiable run and Roxas’ declaring that he will continue Aquino’s “Daang Matuwid”. Aquino endorsed Roxas’ presidential run in an event held at Club Filipino on August 30, 2015. Roxas also ran ads almost the next day where he said he will continue Aquino’s “Dang Matuwid”.
Roxas has gained the momentum from this survey and will allow him to enlarge his support base.
Poe will need to work harder to get back her stellar number one position. Let us see if her numbers will improve on the next survey behind her announcement that she will run for president in an event that happened after this survey was conducted.
Question On Methodology & Design For SWS :
we noticed that the two presidentiables surveys, the options survey and this election survey were run on the same time period. did that mean the questions for the these two separate surveys were in one questionnaire and both were asked of the respondents in the same sitting?
if so, was there no order bias in their answers?
i would think there would be order bias and one or both of the answers of the respondents will be affected by the other. it would be difficult to accept the survey results if there was order bias.
latest SWS presidentiables poll for the 2016 election has put a dazzling surprise – Mar Roxas an erstwhile low 3rd in the previous survey has jumped to 2nd place and in the process pushing down Jejomar Binay to 3rd.
not only the improvement in ranking was the big surprise, the numbers are amazing, from the previous poll putting roxas at 21%, roxas catapulted to 39%, a giant leap of +18%.
binay who used to be 2nd now sits at 35%, almost the same as the previous poll at 34%. the 1% point difference is not statistically significant.
source : http://www.sws.org.ph
however, roxas’ lead over binay, +4% points is statistically significant from binay with the +/- 3% points margin of error.
what happened? what caused the phenomenal increase in rating and standing of mar roxas?
we think what drove the impressive increase is the endorsement of president aquino of roxas’ candidacy to the presidency. the SWS survey was conducted september 2 to 5 which was very close to the announcement of Aquino’s endorsement of Roxas that happened on july 31, 2015 at club filipino. it was a big event as it got full media coverage and was in the news that evening and succeeding days. it has been highly speculated that aquino will endorse roxas, the actual announcement was highly anticipated by everyone.
aquino is the country’s most popular president. no other president was able to gain the kind of very high ratings that aquino has gotten. this high level began at the start of his presidency and was continued on through the years. even aquino’s low ratings were much higher than arroyo’s ratings which almost always stayed on the negative. arroyo is one of the country’s most unpopular president while aquino is the country’s most popular president.
the incumbent president’s endorsement seem to have a lot of power, negative or positive, in philippine politics.
president arroyo endorsed gibo teodoro but since arroyo was one of the country’s most unpopular president, that endorsement became a kiss of death for teodoro.
cory aquino’s endorsement of fidel ramos we think was one of the reasons ramos got elected. cory was and is one of the country’s most popular and beloved presidents. today, cory is considered a hero by many.
aside from aquino’s endorsement, we think the other driver for roxas’ surge in the polls is “daang matuwid”. daang matuwid was the campaign platform of noynoy aquino when he ran for the presidency, one that he won on a landslide. aside from the 2010 campaign, this was also used by aquino as central and often the headline of aquino’s governance.
right after the endorsement of aquino, roxas immediately proclaimed that he will continue “daang matuwid” and in fact Roxas ran TV ads on “daang matuwid” one day after he was endorsed by aquino. in speeches aquino identified roxas as the person who he thinks will continue and has the competence to continue “daang matuwid”.
corruption in government which daang matuwid is going against appear to continue to be a top issue among voters. it also helps one of the key aspirants for the presidency is being alleged as a serial and multiple corrupt government official, vp jejomar binay. binay to this day has not answered or made an effort to dispel the alleged charges of corruption.
this is turn is perhaps the reason why binay has been sliding in the polls. binay’s drop to third is the second for binay. he used to be at the top of the polls before the alleged corruption charges were revealed at the senate,
we had underestimated the power of president aquino as endorser and the idea of “daang matuwid”. we expected improvements but we dd not see it happening in this grand scale.
the momentum is with roxas. poe’s momentum has been stopped and binay may have stabilized. a continuing surge by roxas and a decline in base support for poe and binay can win him the presidency.
this is the kindest way to describe what VP Binay just did – he shot himself in the foot in picking a fight with president aquino. we see no strategic value or benefit for him or even any tactical advantage for his presidential campaign. all it has given him are more problems and harm.
- one of the important things you do for a political campaign is to build coalitions and expand your support base. this is probably one of the top 3 important things that need to be done in a political campaign. elections are won by having the most number of votes compared to your competitors. building coalitions and getting the biggest number of support base is a must, you assign this task to someone in your team to focus on it to make sure you are successful at it,
- by attacking president aquino, presidential binay did not only not do the above, he actually did the exact opposite of it – binay added another enemy to his already long list of enemies. binay is being attacked by many from all sides mainly as a result of the graft and corruption allegations that have been in full display on national TV at the senate. for many months now, most of what binay, his spokespersons and his children have been doing is deflect the mud and slime that has accumulated on binay’s face. they have been unsuccessful and they need aquino as an enemy like they need a bullet in their heads.
- inviting aquino as an enemy is to say the least a very unfortunate and highly ill-advised choice. noynoy aquino is the country’s most popular president and continue to remain popular even though he has had some problems in recent months. common sense tells you if you are to invite someone as an enemy, choose someone who is weaker than you or at least someone you know you can win over. binay instead chose the most powerful and most popular political figure in the country.
- not only is aquino a popular president, he has built his presidency and in fact his election campaign that got him a landslide victory in the last election on the platform of “anti-corruption”. now that on its own is already formidable. choosing aquino as an enemy is clearly political suicide for binay because binay is now known for being corrupt and dishonest. aquino. an anti-corruption champion is exactly the person that binay the corrupt does not want to face. people will compare the two and people will decide who to believe. who is more believable – on the issue of credibility, aquino, the anti-corruption champion or presidentiable Binay who has been charged with corruption? this is like the sinner picking a fight with the Pope.
- aquino has a large support base and allies across the political spectrum. together with aquino they will be defending aquino and can possibly start attacking binay as well. that is not even including yet the office of the president, malacanang itself which probably has the largest communication group in the government. we are already seeing this – the various spokespersons and allies of aquino including mar roxas have started to defend and counter attack binay, picking a fight with aquino means picking a fight with more than one person. binay now has to deal with each one of them.
- if binay was busy skirting the corruption allegations against him brought up at the senate, now aquino, malacanang and his allies will be added to that existing list. this new enemy that binay invited to join in will take up a lot of his time and effort, a clear distraction on the business of having himself elected as president. it will eat up his time and effort, taking away precious time and effort from persuading voters to elect him. getting the voters to like him is already very difficult given the corruption allegations; the attacks from Aquino, his allies and supporters will just make everything much more difficult if not impossible.
- all these is good news to binay’s opponents, the other presdiencitables. they are now all sitting in the sidelines watching the whole thing unfold, watching binay burn. they don’t even have to do anything to pull down binay. binay is doing it to himself plus aquino, his allies and supporters.
all of the above makes you wonder – why is binay doing this? aquino is the president of the country, he is the anti-corruption champion and more importantly, he is NOT running for president in 2016. pulling down aquino has no real obvious or hidden value to binay. even if binay succeeds in putting down aquino’s approval rating to zero, that will not do anything to binay’s own ratings nor will that bring down the ratings of the other presidentiables.
supporters of aquino will not move to binay to increase his ratings. aquino has nothing to do with the dramatic declines in binay’s election poll ratings. bringing aquino down will not result to stopping the declining trend of binay’s ratings nor will it reverse the trend. the cause of the decline are the graft and corruption charges that have been nationally televised during the senate hearings. to arrest the decline in his ratings is to answer those allegations and prove them wrong. binay has taken the strategy of ignoring the allegations, of not answering them of bringing up unrelated and imagined issues just so he does not directly answer the allegations. no amount of talk of other issues will resolve his problem. the label of corruption has been stuck on binay. putting in more stickers will not remove the corruption sicker. that is where the focus is of the people.
what could have been binay’s other option? it could have been a simple one – resign from the cabinet and say he is doing so so that he can focus on the preparations that are needed to be done for his presidential run and profusely thank aquino for allowing to serve the country in the capacities that were given to him. had binay done that, none of these things would have happened. no additional enemies and certainly no additional negative talk about binay. resigning amicably and profusely thanking aquino would have prevented aquino and his allies, even aquino’s anointed from attacking binay. that would have been the masterful exit.
the strategic thinking on this move of binay has failed. we do not even think there was some strategic thinking done on it. none was done as we do not see how binay would have benefited from this move. we can’t figure out even a single benefit. the only possible “benefit” was that binay has clearly declared himself as separate and not part of the aquino administration, the administration that he intends to replace. if this was the objective, it is completely unnecessary and totally worthless. we already know binay is not part of the administration, we know that from his actions and words and that of malacanang, telling us something we already know has no value.
if he wants to present his own platform of government that is different from the administration, he can do that just by coming out with a press release or a major speech on policy. breaking up with the administration and attacking it was unnecessary.
bottom line is with what binay did he gained absolutely nothing but lost a hell lot of things. this is a case of not just getting a rock and hitting your head with it, it is getting a whole truckload of rocks and hitting your head with each rock until the truck is emptied of rocks.