Popularity is not a sure fire way of clinching the presidency. The fact is--popularity of a candidate only becomes a factor during the fund raising stage of a campaign. It attracts financiers. However, in the end, it is machinery that brings in the votes.
There are three things which a candidate needs to win---a brilliant election strategy, a proactive propaganda machinery and an electoral organisation patterned after the US military. Let's focus on the electoral organisation. There are just two groups there who serve the most important: your paralegal election team and grassroots team. In the end game, these two serve the most critical functions.
Campaigning is not just shaking hands or going around town convincing people of their votes. The next best thing to assure victory is through the protection of such support as translated into votes. If you can't protect your votes, just don't run. You need lots of people to tell you if you are being operated upon or certain people are preventing others from voting you.
And this is the hardest part of the whole thing...
There are at least 90 plus thousand machines deployed in thousands of precincts. It is too costly if you deploy your personnel in each and every precinct. Besides, there are 71 provinces. Ideally, you need the same number of paralegals or election lawyers to guard your votes, minimum. Ideal is, teams with two lawyers and two paralegals for every legislative district. That's 210 legal minds working for you.
Now, the question is really simple---do you have the resources and the organizational know-how to conduct the vote guarding in the smoothest way possible?
This is why a seasoned political party has an edge over others who claim to be popular but finds it extremely difficult to translate those " ohhs and ahhs" into " yesses". Formal campaigning only lasts for 90 days maximum. How would able to court 50 million plus voters in just 90 days? That is a herculean task.
Grace Poe may have the solid support from the FPJ groups and others but sans a formidable electoral organisation, everything about Poe's campaign may only be glitz and glamour, powwow yet flutz.