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both SWS and Pulse Asia surveys hit 100% match with official senatoriables 2013 election Comelec results

June 17, 2013 Leave a comment

there is no other way to describe it -both SWS and Pulse Asis senatoriables polls during the 2013 mid term election were impressive, both hit 100% in the list of senatoriables they had on their surveys compared to the top 12 on the final & official results from the Comelec.

SWS conducted their last survey for the senatoriables election May 2 to 3 and got these results compared to the actual and final Comelec results:

  • 12 out of 12 in the poll came out as top 12 in the Comelec tally, 100% success rate
  • 3 senatoriables, Escudero, K Pimentel and Honasan came in at exactly the ranking on the survey and the Comelec tally, a 25% match.
  • 5 senatoriables, Legarda, AP Cayetano, N Binay, B Aquino and Trillanes came within 1 to 2 places off in the survey versus the final Comelec tally, a 42% match.
  • adding the two numbers, 8 out of 12 or 67% came within a match to 2 places on the survey versus the Comelec tally
  • only 4, Poe, S Angara, Ejercito and C Villar was off by more than 2 places from the final tally

Pulse Asia conducted its last survey for the senatoriables election on may 10 to 11. because of the nature of reporting and computation done by Pulse Asia on their poll results which were all expressed on a range, 11 out of 12 senatoriables matched the placements of the senatoriables to that of the Comelec tally. only 1 senatoriable, C. Villar was off.

the range means the Pulse Asia poll results were  showing a lot of ties or statistically insignificant differences from senatoriable to another.

Final Election Results 2013

what does this all mean?

it means SWS and Pulse Asia election polls are highly reliable and an excellent gauge of people’s sentiments on elections. there can be no better result than a 100% match rate and specially with a high number of matches coming in less than 2 places off.

that means the vetting of respondents done by the pollsters are excellent and are precisely representative of the voting population. it also means the random sampling done by these two polling agencies are to the point. most importantly, the sample size of 1,200 to 1,500 are good enough to be able to capture sentiments of voters on a national scale.

the above points, specially on the sample size have been the most questioned by non-believers of surveys, SWS and Pulse Asia in particular. not that the haters are able to present statistical arguments against the pollsters, but these have been incessantly raised by them. we have always said, those who raise them are those who are not winning in the polls thus having a skewed agenda. the excellent match up results proves the counter argument correct.

last point on what this means – it will be wise for election candidates in the future to subscribe and pay attention to the SWS and Pulse Asia election polls.

twitter followers of 2013 Senatoriables – how many are real, how many are fake?

March 16, 2013 Leave a comment

we came across an interesting website on twitter the other day (courtesy of @Simply_Clinton) – twitter audit (http://www.twitteraudit.com/). the website analyses a twitter account’s followers and determines what portion are “real” followers and what is “fake”.

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we assume “real” followers are other twitter accounts with individual humans behind them that follow a twitter account. they are acquired over time who follows an account based on a match on interest, point of view, tweets that are simply interesting or where to get information from.

“fake” followers are bots (internet robots) who are added to the list of followers just to add numbers to the followers list. the thinking is that, the more followers have or the greater the number of followers, the more popular the twitter user/account is. we have all heard of a twitter following contest of some sort between the likes of justin bieber and lady gaga for example. that is the whole idea behind it.

we are guessing someone having a bigger number of followers will feel important or encourage others to follow the person.

apparently, there are internet services from whom you can buy twitter followers. social media practitioners apparently do this all the time for their clients. when you hire a social media practitioner, adding or padding your follower list is one of the things they do for you.

with this in mind, we ran some 2013 senatoriables twitter accounts to find out what is the ratio of “real” vs “fake” twitter followers they have on their accounts.

we do not know if these politicians actually “bought” followers and we are not even giving an opinion on it. maybe they are all “real” followers and that the twitteraudit.com is wrong or giving us bad data or they have a large number of twitter followers whose accounts have become dormant for a long time. these things happen. and we really do not know how accurate or reliable twitteraudit.com is.

take these with a grain  salt, decide on your own what they mean.

for good measure, we also put here our own (@wawam) twitter audit and other politicians who are active on twitter. looking at the other audit results will give you a better gauge of what the data all mean for the rest.

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head to head comparison SWS vs Pulse Asia February 2013 Senatoriables Polls

March 13, 2013 Leave a comment

the good news is that the country has two polling companies doing a great job of capturing the sentiments of voters – SWS (social weather station) and Pulse Asia. it also adds to it that they tend to conduct the polls at about the same time. with the respondent criteria about the same and survey timing very close to each other, comparing the two results is a very good thing to do.

surveys give the people a view, scientific and objective, of what others think about candidates and issues. it can help others shape or confirm their own views. in this complex world of ours, more information is always better.

for candidates and handlers of the candidates, it can be more than informational, it can be very instructive. they can use the results to re-shape, change directions or strengthen their winning strategies or fix and avoid their losing strategies.

but that is very much dependent on the skill sets of the candidates and their handlers on analyzing and understanding surveys. that is the first step.

the second and the more important step is formulating new strategies and plans based on the survey analysis and conclusions.

we are providing here a first step analysis of the  survey results. there are a few more steps on analysis that needs to be done and more steps at formulating action steps in strategy change and plans formulation. but those are for another day.

in the meantime….

sws vs pulse 1

sws vs pulse 2

sws vs pulse 3

sws vs pulse 4

sws vs pulse 5

data sources: Pulse Asia & SWS

also read (click) :

sws rating feb2013

pulse asia rating feb2013

dramatic gains for aquino & poe, dramatic drops for trillanes, zubiri & enrile – pulse asia february 2013 senatoriables poll

March 11, 2013 1 comment

not much has changed among the top 3 ranking senatoriables, legarda, escudero and cayetano alan peter from previous poll.

for this february 2013 pulse asia 2013 senatoriables survey, 15 senatoriables are competing for the top 12 position. in order of highest to lowest ranks as follows:

  1. legarda (Team PNoy)
  2. escudero (Team PNoy)
  3. cayetano alan peter (Team PNoy)
  4. villar, cynthia (Team PNoy) 
  5. ejercito (UNA)
  6. aquino, bam (Team PNoy)
  7. binay (UNA)
  8. poe (Team PNoy)
  9. pimentel (Team PNoy)
  10. honasan (UNA)
  11. enrile, jack (UNA)
  12. trillanes (Team PNoy)
  13. angara (Team PNoy)
  14. zubiri (UNA)
  15. gordon (UNA)

6 senatoriables  are battling for the last 3 positions, the 10th to the 12th, senatoriables honasan, enrile, trillanes, angara, zubiri and gordon who are all tied.

at the bottom among the candidates of the two major coalition parties, UNA and Team PNoy, are mitos magsaysay and tingting cojuangco  both from UNA. their rankings have not changed from previous.

among the 15 candidates fighting for the top 12 spots, 9 are from Team PNoy and 6 are from UNA.

among the top 9, only 2 are from UNA (binay and ejercito) while the rest are from Team PNoy. among the 6 who are battling for the last 3 spots, 4 are from UNA and only 2 are from Team PNoy.

with those rankings, if elections were held today, Team PNoy has a chance of gaining 9 out of the 12 seats at best or 7 out of 12 at worst, a clear majority of the seats.

Team PNoy has generally done very well in this survey.

pulse asia feb2013

source : https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3b9qPFV1cRDNGJWVXpKN0ZhZU0/edit

dramatic increases in rank and rating were gained by aquino and poe, both by +9 places who are now tied at 4th place from previous survey at 13th place; and +11.8 percentage points and +11.2 percentage points, respectively.

3 senatoriables suffered dramatic losses in rank and rating, 1 from Team PNoy, trillanes and 2 from UNA, enrile and zubiri.  all three lost 5 places in the rankings although all three still came within the top 12.

pulse rank feb2013

 

 

pulse rank UNA feb2013

 

 

 

pulse rating Pnoy feb2013

 

 

pulse rating UNA feb2013

 

 

 

chief justice corona’s approval rating suffers a catastrophic meltdown – Pulse Asia Poll

March 23, 2012 Leave a comment

source Pulse Asia : http://pulseasia.com.ph/pulseasia/story.asp?ID=748

  • chief justice corona’s approval rating plunges to 14% from previous 38% and his disapproval rating took an upward sizzle from 24% to 58%. those can only be described as a catastrophic meltdown all due to the impeachment case t oust him being held at the senate. there is no other way to describe in approval rating  by more than  half  and a more than doubling of number of responding disapproving of corona.’s performance.
  • results on corona in this poll is highly consistent with the other Pulse Asia that showed a high 47% of the respondent found corona guilty versus only a 5% of the respondents found him innocent of the charges filed at the impeachment court.
  • this is the court of public opinion, not the impeachment court so many things can come into play on this resulting approval/disapproval rating of corona by the respondents.
  • over at twitter, we had said corona should form his own professional Crisis Management Team very early during the impeachment case. we had called out for this need almost on the first day the case was filed at the house of representatives. we figured the prosecution team obviously had their own team operating prior to day 1 of the whole process. the actions and messages of the prosecution team was so well crafted and well planned that there was a strategy in play and that can only come from a professional team of PR practitioners or media managers.
  •  the need for corona to have his own Crisis Management Team was not only necessary because of their adversary, but also this was obviously a very major development in the chief justice’s career. something as major as an impeachment case needed major efforts to protect his interests. the impeachment case was something very public, live tv coverage has been announced and that meant corona needed professionals to manage the media aspect of it.
  • the need for a professional Crisis Management Team to handle corona’s affairs was highlighted when he decided to deliver a speech in front of the Supreme Court premises attacking President Noynoy Aquino. corona with that speech decided to be a politician and effectively declared a media war and opened the court of public opinion.  moves like that should not be done without careful thinking and professional handling.

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more on this next….

Pulse Asia’s Chief Justice Corona Trial Poll results – the people sees past through prosecution’s incompetence

March 21, 2012 Leave a comment

source: http://pulseasia.com.ph/pulseasia/story.asp?ID=747

  • we are surprised at the high number of 84% of the respondents following the developments of the impeachment rial of chief  justice corona. we thought it would not be this high. after all this is not the president of the country like the erap estrada impeachment, just the chief justice. the erap impeachment getting high numbers will not be a surprise but a chief justice impeachment is.
  • a high number of those who follow the developments say tv is their media choice at 80%. that means many of the people are watching the live coverage of the impeachment trial. they are getting the developments first hand, seeing the drama unfold in front of their eyes.
  • internet for some reason got a very low number – just 1%, we think this is mostly a function of low computer incidence and low internet usage among the poor who accounts for a large majority of the philippine population.
  • radio coming in only at 12% is a shock. radio is the dominant media ownership in the country, almost 100% of homes have radio. for radio to be a non factor in medium choice is very surprising. this means tv has become a most important medium in the country. (the advertising industry need to retool some of theoir thinking on this one.)

  • the defense was trying to make something out of their charge that the impeachment complaint was fast-tracked at the Hour Of Representatives. we really don’t understand why this is important and what it is for but they seem to be saying because it was railroaded at the house, the complaint is invalid, don’t ask us why because we can;t explain it.
  • also we do not think it really matters, the fact is the senate has opened an impeachment court. whether it has been fast-tracked or not no longer matters.
  • this table is a practically a split where respondents can’t decide whether it was fast-tracked or not at he HOR. the numbers are practically tied with 32% saying it was fast-tracked while 38% do not think it was fast-tracked.
  • looks like the defense team has lost his battle.

this chart to us the most important findings of the poll – how people feel about the guilt or innocence of the the chief justice on the charges brought to him bu the HOR (House Of Representatives).

it is important to take note of this from the Pulse Asia website:

The survey fieldwork was conducted from February 26 to March 9, 2012 using face-to-face interviews. The following developments preoccupied Filipinos immediately prior to and during the conduct of the interviews for this survey: (1) the ongoing impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona* ; (2) the arraignment for electoral fraud of former President and incumbent Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; (3) the death and destruction caused by a 6.9 intensity earthquake in the Visayas on 06 February 2012; (4) the commemoration of the 26th anniversary of EDSA People Power I; (5) the controversies involving a few presidential appointees; (6) the death of Negros Occidental Representative Ignacio Arroyo and the fight over his remains; and (7)  the increase in oil prices, fluctuating power rates, declining headline inflation rate, and the record-breaking performance of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

this survey was conducted while the prosecution was still presenting their witnesses and evidence to the court. the defense has not started any of their presentations yet.

  • the significant difference in those who believe corona is guilty at 47% versus those who believe he is innocent at 5% is a very significant finding. that means at that point in time when the poll was taken, when the prosecution was still making their case, the people was seeing corona as guilty.
  •  we were of the view that the prosecution team was screwing up big time.  we are not lawyers but we can tell they were doing a very bad job. the only time the prosecution did well was when neil tupas, the lead prosecutor delivered his opening speech during the trial. everything after that speech was horrible for the prosecution. he did well because he read a written speech.
  • the corona trial became a sad telenovela of “what did the prosecution do wrong this time? the prosecution delivered – they seemed to have done something new that was wrong on a daily basis. we knew that as senator miriam defensor santiago and the presiding judge himself, senator juan ponce enrile  delivered their most impassioned speeches in the trial berating the prosecution team on their latest blunders, incompetence or errors, senator santiago didn;t even bother to sugar coat her words, she just said it in plain, actually elegant and biting english. wha?!
  • over and beyond that thick muck of prosecution incompetence, the prosecution in reality was able to get past the court evidence and testimonies that to say the least corona needed to explain to the court and the country or evidence and testimony that can be used by the senator judges to convict corona.
  • for the respondents to see through that thick muck of prosecution incompetence and find corona guilty to us is just short of being a miracle or brilliance on the part of the respondents.
  • to be fair the incompetence the prosecution showed was not really on the main point of their existence in the impeachment court, but on the almost and everything  they did outside the court and before the impeachment court came into being.  the fact is they were able to get the court to accept testimony and evidence that the senator judges can use to convict corona.
  • okay,  we stand corrected, the prosecution also showed incompetence during the trial as they were constantly berated by senators santiago and enrile on their lack of knowledge and skills in presenting evidence and testimony of their witnesses. in other words, the senator judges were saying the prosecution did not know how to properly conduct a trial. that of course was a surprise considering the prosecutors are lawyers who were elected congressmen in their districts. apparently, not all lawyers are created equal and these congressmen who are also lawyers were shortchanged on that aspect when God made them lawyers.
  • does that mean the respondents were so brilliantly gifted that they were able to separate the garbage from the prosecution on their lawyering skills versus the evidence they were able to get the court accepted?
  • there is no other explanation for it. it looks like the respondents know what a corrupt official is versus one that is not. or an impeachable chief  justice versus one who is not.
  • we think the people are just so fed up with corrupt and incompetent government officials that it did not matter even if the messenger of the message is being faulted by santiago on a daily basis.

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more on this next….

SWS’ mahar mangahas answers richard gordon

May 2, 2010 1 comment

it’s hard to believe richard gordon do not have an appreciation of surveys and he is that ignorant of it. he has been a politician for a long time and his previous job at the private sector (procter & gamble) must have given him a good dose of knowledge on it.

but he has taken SWS and Pulse Asia to court, so we can assume he does not know a lot of things. mahar mangahas of SWS gives him an answer, for his knowledge:

source: http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20100430-267410/Ignorant-columnists-may-not-be-TROd

Social Climate
Ignorant columnists may not be TRO’d

by Mahar Mangahas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:34:00 04/30/2010

ABOUT COLUMNISTS. EVERY THREE YEARS, IN the Philippines, comes a silly season when some columnists excel in misinforming the public about survey science. These are the ones who assert, for instance, that “a survey of only one or two thousand respondents cannot possibly represent many millions of voters.” Despite repeated demonstrations that a properly conducted sample survey is indeed representative of the whole population, they will not accept it, and would rather bask in their ignorance.

Now, is there a way for a columnist who propagates falsehoods to be legally suppressed? For instance, may professional statisticians petition a court for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to stop a columnist from vilifying statistical research about voters’ preferences? The answer to this is NO.

A columnist has a constitutional right to display his ignorance, without prior restraint. This is because the right of free expression is a preferred right—“prior restraint” and “preferred right” being legal phrases.

The statisticians’ legal remedy for a columnist’s abuse of free speech would be to sue for damages afterwards. But they don’t bother, because a statistically-challenged columnist doesn’t fool the people who really count.

About Gordon’s complaint. Last week, Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon asked a Regional Trial Court to issue a TRO against Social Weather Stations and another survey entity, to desist from conducting and publishing their election surveys, which he called “false, inaccurate and flawed,” causing him “grave and irreparable injury.”

Gordon’s suit is ridiculously sloppy. Above all, it is ignorant of the Supreme Court’s affirmation that election surveys are constitutionally protected (see my April 17 column). In SWS v. Comelec (G.R. 147571, May 5, 2001), the Court nullified the section of the 2001 Fair Election Act that attempted to ban publication of election surveys. It ruled that such a ban “imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression” and forms “a direct and total suppression of a category of expression” during the elections.

Gordon claims that “surveys issued by the defendants … showed him only at the 29th spot,” and yet he won as senator in 2004. Actually, the SWS surveys of the 2004 senatorial race had him as 14th in Jan. 18-22, tied for 16th on Feb. 17-25, 14th on March 21-29, tied for 8th on April 10-17, and tied for 9th (with 29 percent of the vote) on May 1-4. It looks like 29 percent was misread as 29th place. Thus he was already in the winning circle in the last two SWS pre-election surveys.

Gordon’s complaints about methodology are false. (1) My column of March 6, 2010 reported that SWS received two awards from the Gallup World Poll for excellence in field methodology, among all of Gallup’s Asian field providers. (2) Face-to-face interviewing, which we always do, and which Gordon thinks “outmoded,” is part of Gallup’s job order to SWS. (3) We agree with Gordon that sampling should be done by probability, and not by quota. Apparently he doesn’t know that SWS always does the former, and never does the latter.

Gordon calls it “highly improbable” that SWS did two national surveys over as short a period as March 19-30, 2010. Actually, SWS did eight national surveys, not all about elections, over January-April 2010, plus several local surveys.

Gordon alleges that, last April 14, an unidentified SWS pollster in Cebu asked a respondent to choose between only two presidential candidates, instead of among 10. Comments: (1) SWS had no election survey in Cebu on that date; (2) all SWS interviewers have ID cards—tell us her name so that we can check; (3) the published SWS election surveys always feature the 10 candidates; (4) in any case, it is legitimate for anyone to inquire how a voter would choose between two candidates.

Gordon’s claim that SWS fails to disclose its sponsors is false. Check the website, http://www.sws. org.ph. The SWS Survey Data Library is open to the public. Its staff helps visitors, short of serving as research assistants. The library fee is affordable even to students. Users should come personally, and not expect their technical questions to be answered by mail.

Gordon’s citations of survey errors in past elections are very few; they are the exceptions that prove the rule, like the failure of US pollsters to predict Truman’s win over Dewey in 1948, which he cites as though it was SWS’ fault too. My 2009 paper, “The challenge of election surveys in the Philippines,” summarizes our election survey record; see our website. The error of the 2004 exit poll in Metro Manila was investigated by an independent group of scientists, and no fraudulence was found; see their report on the website.

Gordon’s claim that “there are no associations of professional pollsters and polling firms which regulate, control, and sanction defendants … for their violation of the code of professional ethics …” is false. Seems he hasn’t heard of the Marketing and Opinion Research Society of the Philippines (MORES), founded in 1977. Both MORES and the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR), to which key SWS staff members belong, have Codes of Ethics. Last Wednesday, the MORES board of directors issued a press statement denouncing Gordon’s petition for striking at the heart of our democratic process.

If the SWS election surveys were not true, accurate, and best-quality, I wonder if Gordon would still be interested in a TRO. Maybe he would just grant us the same freedom of speech that we allow to ignorant columnists.

april 2010 pulse asia survey for senators – awareness matters

May 1, 2010 Leave a comment

the april 2010 results of asia pulse’s poll for senators is is a lesson in advertising & marketing 101 – (brand) awareness is the number one issue and achieving it is the first goal of any election campaign.

except for 2, the rest of  the first 14 candidates who have the possibility of entering the top 12 in this election  have high awareness, at least an  80%+ level and most of  them are at the 90%+ level.  the two, biazon and guingona have 52% and 74% respectively.

on the other hand, the rest of the senatorial candidates below the top 14 have very low awareness, many of them below 30%.

awareness is the most basic requirement of any brand in any market and that includes political elections. if the voters do not know you or are not aware of you, how can they prefer or vote for you? after awareness is preference.

the goal of advertising are those things – build awareness and build preference. while not all of the top 14 have tv ads. almost all of them are already known by the voters.

for those wanting to win this election, they will need to fix these two components and advertising is the answer. however, with just a few days till election time, achieving anything even with advertising might be too difficult.  

Read more…

Pulse Asia April 2010 Presidentiables Poll : estrada ties villar at 2nd, aquino widens lead

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

The survey fieldwork was conducted from April 23 to 25, 2010 using face-to-face interviews. Key developments in April 2010 include the following: (1) defections from the Lakas-Kampi Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) mostly to the Nacionalista Party (NP) and the Liberal Party (LP); (2) election-related issues such as the purchase of ultraviolet lamps (UV) because the UV readers of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines were unable to read the UV markings on the ballots, the scrapping of the P 700 million contract for the purchase of ballot secrecy folders, and the re-bidding of the contract for the purchase of indelible ink; (3) completion of the printing of ballots for the May 2010 elections; (4) various incidents of election-related violence across the country; (5) Senator Francis G. Escudero’s endorsement of Senator Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III for president and Makati City Mayor Jejomar C. Binay for vice-president; (6) accusations made by former President Joseph E. Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile against Senator Manuel B. Villar, Jr. that while serving as Senate President in 2007, Senator Villar used his position to pressure the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to decide in his favor on a matter concerning the public offering of his real estate company’s shares; (7) Senator Richard J. Gordon’s filing of charges against two survey groups; (8) petitions from various sectors for a parallel manual count of votes; (9) the Supreme Court’s final ruling allowing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to appoint the next chief justice (but not the next Sandiganbayan Justice); (10) calls for the resignation and disbarment of Department of Justice (DOJ) Acting Secretary Alberto Agra following his decision to clear two key suspects in the Maguindanao massacre; and (11) increase in power rates despite rotating brownouts in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

http://pulseasia.com.ph/pulseasia/story.asp?ID=716

revilla, estrada and santiago tops pulse aisa poll for senators

April 20, 2010 Leave a comment

the list of senatorial candidates topping the march 2010 pulse asia poll is a mixture of personalities who cannot be any more different. just like the presidentiables, there is no unity or even sameness among them. as in previous senatorial elections, the list is dominated by opposition senators with just a few coming from lakas-kampi.

The survey fieldwork was conducted from March 21 to 28, 2010 using face to face interviews.  Prior to and during the conduct of the survey, several events grabbed the headlines and these are as follows: (1) the Supreme Court’s declaration that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has the authority to appoint the successor of Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno and the protests that followed the high court’s decision; (2) various appointments made by the President following the Supreme Court’s ruling; (3) the start of the official campaign season for the local elections; (4) election-related concerns including double registrants in the voters’ list, downgrading of security features in the ballot, and questions regarding the nominees of several party-list groups and Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairperson Jose A.R. Melo’s dismissal of a “failure of elections” scenario despite these and other problems; (5) the possible disqualification of several presidential candidates due to failure to abide by election laws regarding airtime limits on their campaign advertisements and placement and size of their campaign materials (e.g., billboards); (6) the expression of support for the Nacionalista Party’s (NP) presidential candidate, Senator Manuel B. Villar, Jr., by some allies of President Arroyo in Cebu; (7) reports regarding the falling-out between President Arroyo and Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus Versoza following the latter’s declaration that he will not support any attempt to extend the President’s term should there be a failure of elections in May 2010; (8) the government’s decision to retain its original growth target of 2.6% to 3.6% despite the El Niño phenomenon; and (9) continued oil price hikes.

source: http://pulseasia.com.ph/pulseasia/story.asp?ID=713

March 2010 Pulse Asia Poll: villar rating drops, aquino lead widens, no change among laggards – point of no return?

April 6, 2010 1 comment

villar’s rating in the latest pulse asia poll drops 4% points while aquino’s rating moves up by 1% point, giving aquino a wider lead, by + 7%. these results are highly consistent with the SWS poll (click here: march 2010 SWS presidentiables poll – erap magic works, villar magic fails, aquino magic stays)

villar’s weakening position here confirms the red warning flag we raised on villar (read here: march 2010 SWS poll results – a big red flag is up for manny villar). there is a fundamental weakness that has emerged in villar’s campaign and it is showing now that may show itself smartly in the next poll if not addressed.

the widening lead being enjoyed by aquino, however, is not enough reason for celebration for aquino. the lead is not due to aquino strengthening but rather villar weakening. it may indicate that aquino has a large base of fiercely loyal supporters or that his opponents has not yet discovered aquino’s weakness. however, the poll results seem indicate villar’s supporters are vulnerable.

that is good news for erap estrada who is following villar at 3rd. in fact that is good news for everyone else, specially those at the laggards group.

we think we have reached a point of no return here. unless major developments or major screw ups occur, the standings are most likely going to hold until election time. with just a few weeks before election, there is simply not enough time to do anything else.

polls & surveys on presidentiable preference : losing out on the formula to win (part 1)

March 10, 2010 Leave a comment

we are publishing here an email we received from a reader, carlo arvisu who is a marketing and advertising practitioner.

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election polls is the rage these days – it is the stuff of newspaper headlines and tv newscasts. presidentiables are asked about them and predictably those in the lead are thankful for the results while those at the bottom or not improving are all against it casting doubt on the results by attacking the research agency, those who commissioned the poll and the methodology.

the irony of it all is that most of the major candidates and even the laggards actually subscribe to the election polls we read in the papers. the election polls conducted by SWS and Pulse Asia are syndicated polls. they run this on their own but they make available to the candidates its results on a subscription basis. not only can candidates subscribe to it, anyone else who has the money can subscribe to them.

the rate of subscription vary on the kind of service a presidentiable wants. the rates differ on how  the presidentiables want the results presented to them or what results they want to have.

the biggest clients of research agencies are mass consumer marketing companies like uni-lever, jollibee and procter & gamble, although they use other research agencies like TNS and AC Nielsen. SWS and Pulse Asia do these types of research but very seldom, their specialization is polls on political and national issues.

the problem with surveys and research both for mass consumer marketing companies  and presidential campaigns is how to answer  two  questi0ns, the last one being   –  what do we do, what steps do we take as a reaction to the research results.

research and polls give a snapshot or a profile of the consumer mind and voters mind at a certain point in time. the consumer and voter mind is a living thing, it is dynamic and can change in whatever direction in no time depending on the stimulus or what the voter or consumer experience.

change in the consumer mind may not happen often and not as quickly but change in the voter mind can happen very often and very quickly.  current events is the stimulus for this change and current can mean something yesterday, today or in a few hours time.

with readily available , evolving news reported and brought to the consciousness of voters, change in the voter mind can occur in a beat. we not only have tv, radio and print now,  there is the internet, the social websites, blogs and even cellphone text.  all of the above can influence the voter mind in an instant. 

we saw the power of instant communication  during EDSA DOS where  hundreds of thousands of people exchanged cell phone text  to express their disgust on the developments regarding the unopened brown envelope during estrada’s hearings at congress. from disgust, the text content turned into people asking others to converge at EDSA and that led to the eventual ouster of estrada.

having the data gives the political campaign a picture of the current state of mind of the voter. with a picture in front of you, you can now plot your actions to change that picture. 

the problem is very few know how to do it properly. that problem is not limited to political campaigns but it is also true to mass consumer marketing companies.

knowing what to do or not knowing what to do is actually the second of two questions. the first question is this – what is the meaning of the poll results? and the twin question which is more important – what are the insights that we can draw from these results?

research and poll agencies will give the subscriber results, basically statements or answers to the questions asked of the respondents with corresponding numbers or ratings.  these are in essence the statistically analyzed raw data. the poll and research agency will not give them the meanings and more importantly the insights from the data.

the data will need interpretation and that is supposed to be done by the client. and there lie the other problem.  even mass consumer marketing companies are not very good at this, in fact many of these companies do not even have competencies to do this. we do not think political campaigns have these as well.

insights is a very elusive thing for many. in fact the marketing and advertising managers we have encountered do not really know what insights are. many of them think research data and results are already insights. when they are really just raw data that they will need to draw insights from.

the political campaign now has the data from the polls, what will they do with it now? this is next in part 2.

~~  a mindscape landmark ~~
 carlo arvisu

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