The one polling that went to Mr. Roxas, according to news archives, was the one done by a FM radio station, which goes by the name Monster Radio. I don’t do radio and am still stuck in the Pete Seeger/Joan Baez/Kundiman era so I don’t know anything about the station, the music it plays and its base of listeners. But any polling topped by Mr. Roxas is definitely an outlier (he has not topped any mainstream polling from time immemorial), so you have to find out why that particular voting segment skewed toward Mr. Roxas.
I found no answer and clues, except for the fact that that station is supposedly an “English-only station” with the announcers (are they still called by that generic name?) barely comprehensible to regional speakers like myself. I readily made two assumptions: It is not a pang-masa station and it is not representative of the “huddled masses” that have to wait for two hours under the scorching sun to get MRT rides. Just maybe, that kind of crowd skews in the direction of Mr. Roxas. Meaning, the people who really vote.
One last thing. The respondents to the radio station’s question on presidential preference did not – definitely did not – represent the sentiment of Metro Manila voters and what the pollsters have called “Balance Luzon.” OK, I have to answer this. What are the empirics that undergird that assumption?
According to government figures, 54.3 million have registered to vote in the May 2016 polls. Roughly 60 % of that voting total comes from Luzon. And within Luzon, the specific vote-rich area is called the Lingayen-Lucena Corridor, or LLC, an area with enough voters to sink or swim a presidential ambition. It is not the turf of Mr. Roxas.
Mr. Roxas has polled very weak in the LLC area, which stretches from Pangasinan in Region 1 to Lucena in the Southern Tagalog Region. The details tell us why this area is important in every election cycle. At the heart of LLC is the vast expanse of Metro Manila plus another vote-rich appendage — the whole of Central Luzon.
Think of the provinces here: Pangasinan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Cavite (which has the largest voting population in the whole of Luzon), Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon. Plus Metro Manila, this is the voting area that all presidential candidates covet most.
What is the status of Mr. Roxas, polling-wise, in the LLC? Either “good fourth” or “poor fourth.” Meaning, he is hopeless in the area presidential candidates need much to compete and win.
The voting area called LLC and where the presidential candidates stand in the vote-rich area is now worth bringing up given the unfounded “analysis” from some in mainstream media that try to peddle this lie – that the May 2016 election is a four-way race and that Mr. Roxas is a competitive candidate. This is just like saying that Bernie Sanders will capture the Democratic primary and that Marco Rubio, always third and always fourth on the Republican side, is a competitive candidate. Donald Trump will only stumble if he unzips his fly during a mammoth Trump rally and go for the jugular to prove his prowess.
Nothing can derail Hillary Clinton at this point unless Bill molests an intern at the NYC Democratic HQ.
Mr. Roxas cannot survive on the mere claim that parts of Metro Manila are fast turning “yellow” and turning against the LLC favorites Ms. Poe and Mr. Binay. The polling work says otherwise, that Mr. Roxas is the fourth choice in Metro Manila, and that his EIC, endorser-in-chief, Mr. Aquino, has no credibility whatsoever as a political endorser in Metro Manila. Metro manila voters see Mr. Aquino’s endorsement in negative terms. The pundits calling it a four-way race are just offering a sliver of hope to the hopeless Mr. Roxas.
If a candidate can’t take the LLC, this is the reality in contemporary presidential campaigns, he or she is a goner. And that is precisely where the figures place Mr. Roxas right now.
Mr. Roxas’s failure to gain traction in the LLC debunks the argument that the discerning voters are for Mr. Roxas. The LLC is also the political, economic and cultural capital of the country. When we speak of a “media loop,” we are referring to Metro Manila. Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon. The major universities are here. The corporate boardrooms are here. The public face of the dissident groups have their HQs here.
The LLC is the capital of political discernment and the capital of political discourse.
Yes, he is favored to win the Visayan Region, specifically Western Visayas. But a big chunk of the Cebuano vote leans toward Mr. Duterte.
Speaking of areas with more diverse populations, what can beat Metro Manila and places like Cavite, Laguna and Pampanga? Speaking of melting pots, we have Mariveles City in Bataan, the site of the first EPZA, and Tarlac City. All of these are within the LLC, the weak link of the Roxas campaign.
So, is there factual, number-driven basis for the claim that Mr. Roxas is competitive?
No. The polling work done for months in the LLC area proves there is zero hope for Mr. Roxas and the “four-way race” is a hoax, just like many other things in the Roxas campaign.