Friday, January 8, 2010

Aquino leads in SWS survey, Villar inches closer at no. 2

01/08/2010 | 08:05 PM

Original Story:

Senator Manuel Villar Jr. is now inching closer to Senator Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III's high poll ratings, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on preferred presidential candidates.

In the survey conducted from December 27 to 28, Villar received a 33-percent rating – six percent higher than his previous rating of 27 percent in the December 5-10 SWS survey. Aquino's rating, on the other hand, dropped by two percentage points from 46 percent to 44 percent. [See: Noynoy tops another survey, 46% will vote for him]

Aquino’s and Villar’s standing in various surveys remain virtually unchanged, but observers point to the fact that Villar is slowly moving his way up and narrowing Aquino’s lead. [See: Noynoy still on top; Villar, Erap catching up – survey]

Another survey by the Issues and Advocacy Center last December also showed Aquino to be preferred by 31 percent of respondents, but Villar was likewise not far behind at 24 percent. [See: Noynoy lead, Villar not far behind in new survey]

Villar is running under the banner of Nacionalista Party (NP), while Aquino, so far the consistent frontrunner in presidential surveys, is the standard bearer of the Liberal Party (LP).

Aquino's camp spokesmen said they were not bothered by the latest SWS survey, which had a plus/minus 2.2 percent margin of error, “because our numbers are stable."

“It was a slight decrease of one or two percentage points, which is within the statistical margin of error," said LP spokesman and Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III in a phone interview with GMANews.TV

“(The change) is very negligible," Aquino spokesman Edwin Lacierda told GMANews.TV in a separate phone interview. “Villar’s increase does not seem to come from us because as you can see we have a solid base of supporters. We remain above 40 percent and we have yet to start airing our ads," he added.

Still stable

Enjoying a 15-percent rating, former president Joseph Estrada remained in third slot but shed one percentage point in the latest SWS survey compared to his previous showing of 16 percent.

Coming in fourth was administration bet Gilberto Teodoro Jr., a cousin of Aquino, whose survey performance remained flat at 5 percent, similar to his December 5-10 rating. Television evangelist Eddie Villanueva’s ratings also did not move at 1 percent.

Senator Richard Gordon obtained 0.5 percent – 0.4 lower than his earlier 0.9 percent – while Senator Ma. Ana Consuelo “Jamby" Madrigal and independent John Carlos “JC" de los Reyes were tied at 0.4 percent each, up from their previous 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.

The 2,100 survey respondents were asked: “Sa mga sumusunod na pangalan sa listahang ito, sino po ang malamang ninyong iboboto bilang PRESIDENTE ng Pilipinas, kung ang eleksyon ay gaganapin ngayon?"

(Among the following names in this list, who would you probably vote for as President of the Philippines, if the elections were held today?)

The survey was privately commissioned by San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, who is House Minority Leader.

Ads helped Villar ratings rise

Gilbert Remulla, NP spokesperson and senatorial candidate, confirmed that it was Villar’s advertisements that pulled his ratings up.

“Undoubtedly, the advertising plays a big part in all of this. It really is the most effective means of communication. Pero yung pag-iikot niya, yung message [niya ang nagdala]. (But it is his sorties, his message that drove up his ratings.) It is not just advertising, it is the message that you are trying to put across," he told reporters in a press conference.

Remulla said the NP camp expects to lessen the gap between Villar’s and Aquino's ratings in the coming months.

“In the next two months, (we will see) parity (around) February to March. NP is confident that that will happen," he said, adding that Villar, a self-made billionaire, spent his own money for his ads so the senator would not be beholden to campaign contributors.

Aquino's spokesmen said LP would also boost its political ads before the month ends.

"We might have one before the month ends, (the) main ad that will carry the campaign," said Tañada. "We are just preparing our ad to come out with the right message, the right theme, right production."

“For the meantime, our message is going well – we need a leader who is not corrupt to lead this country and deliver the services our people needs," Lacierda added. – JV, GMANews.TV

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