• Voters mood volatile. Mr. Roxas’ hopeless polling is the only constant


    POLLING work, from a couple of years ago till now, has yet to identify a clear leader in the presidential race with major shifts every now and then. Here is a brief chronology.

    Vice President Jejomar Binay was the undisputed choice in the routine polling before the campaign proper. The lead of Binay in mainstream polling (pre-campaign) was such that political scientists, political junkies and even armchair theorists had conceded that it was all over but the election proper. Who would not be in awe with Mr. Binay’s impressive numbers in earlier times?

    At some point before the campaign proper, Mr. Binay, armed with his soaring numbers, was welcomed like a visiting royalty in every nook and cranny that he went to. Regional and lesser political gods paid obeisance to Mr. Binay, the “inevitable president.” In my home province, I saw him once in a parade where he glowed like a Homecoming King.

    Then came the months of his media nightmare. (It is ongoing but less shrill now.) Screaming headlines and equally siren-blaring 30-seconders on prime-time TV proclaimed him as “The Crook.” Senators opposed to a possible Binay presidency added to the nightmare of Mr. Binay by undertaking a Senate inquiry on his alleged corrupt ways that stretched on for eternity. For the record, the Senate inquiry on the corruption charges against Mr. Binay lasted longer than the inquiry on the JFK assassination.

    At his low moments, Mr. Binay, the once “inevitable president” had a hard time finding a running mate and all those grand plans from the various political parties to coalesce around his UNA had been called off.

    The media woes of Mr. Binay were the entry point for Senator Grace Poe’s appearance in the presidential race. She knew one thing, only she can compete with Mr. Binay mano y mano. She snatched the polling lead from Mr. Binay after two or three incremental increases, aided by a drip drip of negative stories on alleged rigged billion pesos worth of Makati contracts. Ms. Poe would enjoy several months as polling leader, until she faced a challenge that also generated screaming headlines on the true state of her citizenship. Is she a natural-born citizen or not?

    Ms. Poe was spun as the central character, the tragic lead actress, In journalism that rivaled telenovelas, including stories that she was not a foundling but a kin of the Marcoses. They were enough to wipe out Ms. Poe’s lead in the polls Not even the most influential showbiz denizens, the type that produce the inane shows that generate 20 million plus tweets, were enough to prevent Ms. Poe’s formidable numbers from slipping to 2nd or 3rd.

    The new leader, who was responsible for sinking both Mr. Binay and Ms. Poe was Digong Duterte, the mayor of Davao City, whose brash persona and tough words made many feel that his toughness was needed to give order to an unruly, undisciplined country. Mr. Duterte, unbound by the usual rules on political civility, attracted support from across all sectors. On the promise that there would be zero tolerance toward crooks and criminals alike under his presidency, Mr Duterte was crowned leader of the polls.

    He was late in realizing that colorful political language has a tolerance threshold, and when he took on the priests and Pope Francis and expounded on his libertine views on morality, the national mood that made him a favorite turned sour.

    His verbal spat with Mar Roxas, the candidate endorsed by the LP and Mr. Aquino, and a perennial polling doormat, abetted his slide as a polling leader.

    In the aftermath of the tawdry Duterte-Roxas spat, Mr. Binay enjoyed his Christmas as the polling leader anew. The yearend polls showed him with top numbers, some 10 points ahead of the second placer. It was also perceived by the public as the season for a negative Supreme Court ruling on Poe’s citizenship issue. In a piece on that period, I wrote that the voters saw the merit of Mr. Binay’s political adulthood.

    The SC ruling on Poe’s disqualification did not come. One or two justices were reported to be sympathetic toward foundlings. That was enough to make Poe the polling leader in the latest survey on presidential preference.

    The volatility of the mood of the Filipino electorate appears to be the only constant in the 2016 presidential race. Or, maybe this: the doormat standing of Mr. Roxas, the best credentialed candidate in the presidential race.

    By most conventional measures, the 2016 race was not supposed to consign Mr. Roxas to the role of a polling kulelat. He trained at Wharton, served in the HOR and in the Senate, and he served three presidents : Erap, Mrs. Arroyo and Mr. Aquino. His pedigree is as compelling—the grandson of the first president of the 1946 republic and son of a senator.

    He has been endorsed by Mr. Aquino and named torch bearer of his “Daang Matuwid” legacy (let us assume that there is indeed a legacy.)

    Despite all these, Mr. Roxas’s story has been one of political inconsequence. The polling, unless he gains dramatic strides in polling next month, dooms him as a loser.

    Political literature post-May will probably be about two main topics. One will be glowing stories about the winner in the 2016 race. The second will be about the inconsequence of Mr. Roxas’s presidential quest.



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    1. The volatile mood of the electorates shows, but ultimately their true color will show.
      Binay will win it all !

    2. Poe is an oppurtunist; Binay confirmed corrupt to the max; Duterte is a confirmed lunatic. Think about it: si Mar lang ang matino

    3. Llamado sa mayo 9 ay ang half sibling poe for pres and bmarcos for vp why not conduct dna test from relatives of both marcos and sonora family kung magmatch kay grace poe in order to finally find the truth about the tsismis!

    4. You should try going with Miriam and Bongbong in the campaign trail. You might be surprised the NORTH – SOUTH combination cannot be ignored. If everything is volatile, Miriam has her stock millions of votes from students. As Senators, Miriam got 17 million votes Bongbong got 11 million votes. They must be watched closely, while everyone is busy getting entertained by Duterte and showbiz personalities, miriam and bongbong are doing their math.

    5. Anyone is acceptable president. Except Mar Roxas, representative of Elitist Oligarchy and protector of BS Aquino
      G. Poequino Llamanzares is irrelevant Am-girl former kinder Nanny in USA with US citizen husband and family. Once voters had known the real Llamanzares. She (Poequino) will be almost zero vote comes election day. Name recall Poe is for survey rating only as convenient “excuse name” of the undecided. Poequino Llamanzares is survey joke. Her name Poe will be recalled as the name that should NOT be voted as president.

    6. Marred Roxas will never win the presidency. Assuming he’s got millions of voters in the last 2010 vice-presidential election, you deduct now the disillusioned and disappointed millions of class A, B, C voters who previously supported him. Disappointed because of his dismal performance as DOTC and DILG secretary, his poor response to the victims of typhoon Yolanda, MRT problems, etc.

      Only masochists will vote for Marred Roxas. Masochist voters who enjoy hurting themselves and want to continue riding the crowded and always late MRT.

    7. The biggest problem of Mar Roxas is his very close relationship with Pinoy Aquino. Unfortunately Pinoy is making very bad decisions like veto of SSS pension increase that angered a few million Seniors and their dependents and the mess created by Abaya in the MRT debacle. 2 big items that ended the dreams os Mar Roxas.

      Binay problem is his never ending corruption charges that he refuse to answer nor attend the senate hearings. His missing associates Limlingan and Baloloy is a big mystery that created a lot of doubts to the electorates.

      Duterte loose mouth and bad manners turned voters sour to vote for him. His adulterous relationships also affected the voters.

      Miriam Defensor is sick and nobody wants to vote for a president that is near death.

      The only choice is Grace Poe, only problem , no experience in running the country.

      And not eligible to run under the Constitution .