Monday, March 22, 2010

Villar surges ahead in latest survey

March 22, 2010, 6:16pm

Original Story:

Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Sen. Manny Villar continues to gain strength as he has now overtaken erstwhile leader, Liberal Party (LP) presidential bet Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III in the latest survey of The Issues and Advocacy Center (The CENTER).

In that survey, conducted March 3-10, 2010, Villar got 28 percent to Aquino’s 26 percent.

Ed M. Malay, director of The Center, said the results of the latest nationwide survey also reinforces the view that the coming May 10, 2010 elections is going to be a media-driven campaign with both broadcast and print media emerging as the most preferred medium employed by national candidates to put their respective political agenda across.

In that survey conducted among 2,400 respondents nationwide, the results show that the decision-making process of Filipino voters can be enhanced and influenced by the outpouring of information supplied by the national candidates and generated by the various forms of media, television in particular.

The Center also said it continues to rely on the multi-stage probability sampling method employing face-to-face interviews with a skip interval method of four to five houses to obviate any possible bias in the responses adding that its survey has a + 2.8% margin of error anda confidence level of 95%.

Malay said the systematic implementation of astroturfing has allowed Sen.Villar to overtake erstwhile frontrunner Aquino.

The Center said the survey only showed the general perception that the campaign for the top national positions in the May 10, 2010 polls will be media-driven.

This scenario is seen in the results of the latest nationwide pre-poll survey of The Issues and Advocacy Center (The CENTER) which showed Villar making use of what is known in the media industry as “astroturfing.” This is a strategy, in which the main activity is simply centered on flooding the three major media platforms – print, television and radio – with advertising and infomercial placements.

In addition, The Center said there is a marked deviation from the standards of the previous political campaigns in the past elections and this is the systematic employment of the so-called SMS (short messaging system) blast system which allows political parties and or candidates which can afford the use of such systems to reach as wide an audience with little effort.

Malay said, however, that the use of the SMS blast which allows political parties and or candidates to send text messages to as many as 22 million cellular mobile numbers of the three major wireless telecommunication providers has turned into a vicious information campaign in that the messages have not only become libelous to some extent but it has turned this 2010 polls into a campaign that promotes black propaganda.

Malay said The Center survey for the period in review shows that Sen. Manny Villar’s statistics has actually remained the same at 28% as in their last February 2010 pre-poll survey. Villar rising to the lead in the pre-poll survey ratings became possible with the dramatic decline in the ratings of erstwhile frontrunner Sen. Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino who now stands at 26%.

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