Thursday, February 15, 2007

FYI: 2007 Senate Race at the Starting Gate

elow is a list of the leading senatorial candidates based on the latest Pulse Asia, Inc. voter preference survey in January 2007. It includes both Palace (UNI) and Opposition (UNO) senate slates and independent candidate Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan, ranked according to their apparent standing with the voting public just before the start of the campaign and before all the actual candidates were known.

1 LEGARDA, Loren 96 46.6 UNO
2 LACSON, Panfilo "Ping" M. 94 34.6 UNO
3 PANGILINAN, Francis "Kiko" N. 90 34.6 UNO
4 SOTTO, Vicente "Tito" C. III 80 31.7 UNI
5 CAYETANO, Alan Peter S. 92 28.8 UNO
6 VILLAR, Manuel "Manny" B. Jr. 92 26.4 UNO
7 RECTO, Ralph G. 89 26 UNI
8 ARROYO, Joker P. 89 25.8 UNI
10 ANGARA, Edgardo "Ed" J. 92 24 UNI
11 HONASAN, Gregorio "Gringo" B. 93 23.3 IND
12 ESCUDERO, Francis "Chiz" G. 79 23.2 UNO
13 AQUINO, Benigno "Noynoy" C. III 87 22.5 UNO
14 OSMENA, John Henry "John O" 81 17.9 UNO
15 DEFENSOR, Michael "Mike" T. 80 14.3 UNI
16 AQUINO-ORETA, Teresa "Tessie" 78 11.5 UNI
17 ZUBIRI, Juan Miguel "Migs" 66 10.3 UNI
18 ROCO, Sonia M. 56 7.5 UNO
19 PICHAY, Prospero "Cong. Butch" Jr. 45 5.6 UNI
20 SINGSON, Luis "Chavit" 81 4.2 UNI
21 TRILLANES, Antonio IV 46 4.2 UNO
22 COSETENG, Nikki ? ? UNO
23 PETILLA, Carlos Jericho ? ? UNI
25 KIRAM, Jamalul III ? ? UNI

The first column of statistics (A) shows the percentage of the population to whom the candidate is already known. The second column (B) shows the percentage of voters saying they would vote for the candidate. A lower "recognition factor" means the candidate has room to improve his or her preference percentage by becoming better known during the campaign. Of course that is also true even for those with higher recognition factors. They just have to change their reputations with the voters!

There is nothing fixed about this data as the ultimate composition of the Magic 12 and their exact ranking are most unpredictable at this point in time, even though the top vote earners are virtually assured of a slot. But will Loren Legarda repeat her feat in 1998 and become 2007's midterm election topnotcher? Or will the murder case of Tony Leviste affect her performance at the polls and give the Brass Ring to someone else, perhaps to the surging Alan Peter Cayetano? Moreover, Comelec has yet to announce the final list of official candidates, so the above is not even a complete enumeration of the contenders.

I will be following the fates and fortunes of above ladies and gentlemen who've tossed their hats into the ring mainly through the Social Weather Stations monthly voter preference surveys and the Pulse Asia, Inc. regular Ulat ng Bayan surveys. By the way, the Social Weather Stations special web page on the 2004 Exit Poll is worth a visit. And another Philippine Commentary on that space-time event full of statistical-political anomaly.

ACE DURANO, official spokesman of Team Unity (Together Everyone Achieves More) is the Palace's answer to ADEL TAMANO, representing the Grand Coalition of the United Opposition (UNO). Both are articulate and engaging speakers. This should make for interesting repartee during the campaign.

Every voter preference survey worth its salt is actually a brave prediction that will be quantitatively tested by the official election results -- down to tenths of a percentage point in accuracy in the case of post-election exit polls. Such "testable" or "verifiable" surveys are true scientific public opinion polls, unlike for example the "self-rated hunger and poverty" surveys that are conducted by the very same pollsters. The quality of the information in the latter type of surveys is much lower since there is no objective event or process that serves as a reality check on the statistics and the interpretation given to them by pollsters and pundits.

1 comment:


Look forward to reading your future analyses as the campaign progresses.