Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Vice President Binay can heave a sigh of relief--barring a disaster

I crunched the numbers and if basing from Comelec information and those surveys, it seems that the following figures are clear AT THIS POINT:

1. Comelec says the voter population stands at 54.3 million. Comelec chair Andy Bautista says they expect a high voter turnout since this is a presidential elections. Let us put the voter turnout at a conservative 80%. That means 43,440,000 voters would go to the polls come May 9 and would vote for their candidate.

2. Out of this figure, Comelec estimates that between 2-3 million votes would not be read or would fall by the wayside, so to speak (meaning disfranchised). Let's just put it at 4% "systems loss" so to speak, or 1,737,600 votes.

3. So, in a five way fight, which is now the situation, the clear winner in this contest is the one which would be able to garner 11-12 million votes. AT THIS POINT, if basing on survey ratings, the only candidate with the ability to get that volume of votes is Vice president Jejomar Binay.

Binay's mass base of support which hovers between 25-30% represents a low of 10.86 millon to 12 million. Now, we cannot deduce from the figures if this mass base would still go down, but in all indications, it would surely not. The lowest Binay's survey ratings would go would have to be 20% if some miracle happens and another reputational attack hit the vice president. I believe nothing would ever happen anymore to shake this mass base off him considering that the worst had already happened.

If, at all, either Poe or Duterte surges, and for some miracle, their numbers exceed Binay's, that would only even the playing field, not sufficient to defeat the vice president. For one, Binay has the Solid North vote which Poe is trying to break down. Binay has a very strong Visayan and Mindanao network.  If you analyze the surveys, Poe's strength is really in Metro Manila being essentially an opposition bailiwick. In the end, Metro Manila would not go to Poe's but it would be a toss up between Duterte and Binay.

4. Binay can only be defeated if the administration party concedes defeat and shifts focus support to Poe. Mar Roxas, basing on analysis, has a solid base of around 7 million voters. This represents 15-18%. If Roxas concedes and throws his support behind Poe, Poe would be able to garner enough to even the fight with Binay, but it is not entirely sure if her numbers would be sufficient to defeat the vice president. For one, it is not clear if the administration or Roxas had what analysts call "power of transference"--the ability or "power" of a candidate to convince his supporters to throw their support to another candidate.

Conceding that the administration does this, it would only be an even fight--but not entirely an assurance of a win.

5. Why is Poe losing the initiative? It was not because of Binay but the emergence of Duterte that Poe is losing the numbers. Duterte is the viable choice if a voter does not believe in Poe's and is convinced of the accusations hurled against Binay.

Duterte's rhetoric is very powerful, similar to that of Poe's in some aspects during the early stages of Poe's propaganda campaign. Poe tries to differentiate herself from the pack by emphasising on an administration "with the heart", but this goes against the popular demand for a stronger government.