“The window to turn things around is narrowing.”
In the last Pulse Asia survey, Senator Ping Lacson was reported to have said that he was puzzled by the survey results because the figures did not square with what he was witnessing in his campaign sorties.
He is not the only one saying this. Almost all the other candidates like the camps of VP Robredo and Senator Pacquiao are also saying it.
Since surveys are all about statistics and random sampling, there is a rational explanation for the survey results but the reactions of the candidates are perfectly understandable. Senator Lacson was obviously referring to the multitude of people who are meeting him and his running mate Senate President Tito Sotto as they travel all over the country campaigning.
Perhaps the better question to ask is why Ping Lacson is only rating between five to six per cent considering his record and the way his team is managing his campaign. To be fair with the good Senator, of all the presidential candidates, he is the most experienced, qualified and prepared. He has the best preparation when it comes to his familiarity with how the government works. This means that if the people elect him, he can hit the ground running.
He and his running mate Senate President Sotto have presented to the electorate a well-prepared and extensively researched political platform and program of government.
Yet, the electorate seems to be ignoring this, preferring to join a bandwagon of candidates whose programs of government are practically nonexistent and prefer to go around provinces on motorcades instead of speaking to a live audience to explain their program of government. Senators Lacson and Sotto have also conducted a very high-level campaign keeping their barnstorming on issues and not denigrating their opponents on a personal level.
In one recent survey about voter preference, people were asked what kind of leader they want. Their response was that they prefer a strong, intelligent, incorruptible and experienced leader. If one looks at the background of Senators Lacson and Sotto, the tandem fits what the public is looking for. Senator Lacson for instance has made it his crusade to stamp out corruption in the government. Yet, this is not being reflected in the surveys. Why is this so, one might ask. Why would the public say one thing and do something different? Perhaps it is a question of the way Senators Lacson and Sotto are presenting their program of government to the voting population. Presentation, after all, even in business, can torpedo a well written and prepared program if not presented to the liking of the approving authority which in this case is the electorate.
Perhaps it is about time that the Lacson campaign considered changing gear and modifying their marketing strategy. The question however, is would the two good senators be amenable to some modifications? Knowing Senator Ping Lacson, it is doubtful whether he would be willing to do this. But it is something really worth considering. Otherwise, both will be staring at the specter of defeat come election day. The Lacson campaign must know that not all voters are intelligent and sophisticated. Many do not vote because they care what will happen to the country if they vote for the wrong candidate. In fact, many vote simply because of their impressions of a certain candidate. As we all know, there are the A, B, C, D and E classes in our society with the D and E classes constituting the bulk of the voters. Surely, the good senator realizes this and must try to woo voters from all the classes and not only in one or two which I suspect is where the bulk of their supporters are coming from. Doing this will however, necessitate a modification in campaign strategy like going down to the level of the so-called masses.
Whether there is still time, of course, is something that the Lacson-Sotto campaign will have to figure out. Another reason as to the disparity between the crowds and the survey is that Senator Sotto is rating at about 30 per cent. This means that he has a realistic chance of winning. It could be that many in the crowds are Sotto supporters only. If this is the case, there must be an effort to convince those Sotto followers to support Senator Ping Lacson. But it does not seem to be the case because the surveys do not bear this out. The supporters of Senator Sotto should also go for Senator Lacson in order to maximize the benefits of a Lacson-Sotto administration if they win the election.
There are just eight weeks left in the campaign and the window to be able to turn things around is narrowing. Let’s hope a formula can still be found.