Noynoy should stop acting like a winner

PNS — SEN. Noynoy Aquino should stop acting as if he has already won because surveys are not always right as proven in past elections, political analysts said yesterday after the Liberal Party standard bearer bragged that there is no way for him to lose with the 20 percent lead he got in recent surveys.

Aquino said his 20 percent lead can be translated into eight million votes which his rivals cannot overcome.

Analysts however said Aquino should stop declaring himself as the sure winner based only on survey results. They pointed out that since 1992, surveys covering presidential elections have been off the mark. And if the trend holds, they said Aquino may be in for a rude awakening once counting of votes is over.

Five days before the elections, Aquino claimed that he will surely win since he stands to get at least 12 million to 16 million votes. There are at least 40 million voters.

“Is there a possibility of losing? You know, the 20-point spread, can I just round it off, it’s 19 points but I beg the 1 percent, so 20 percent in a 40 million turnout translates to about eight million,” the LP bet said. He said that for either Sen. Manny Villar or former president Joseph Estrada to overcome his lead, they each should get eight million votes. Aquino however said his rivals will find this hard to do with only a few days left before the elections.

However, analysts said that frontrunners in political surveys have not come out as winners since 1992. This trend was particularly evident in 1992, 1998, and 2004.

In the 1992 national elections, former Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. was the leading candidate two days before the elections. He was trailed by former Speaker Ramon Mitra, Jr., Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and the eventual winner, former President Fidel V. Ramos.

At that time, pundits considered Cojuangco the hands-down winner, especially after he got the endorsement of the Iglesia ni Cristo.

Meanwhile in 2004, actor Fernando Poe, Jr. was seen as the runaway winner after surveys, particularly by the Social Weather Stations, showed him as the most popular choice.

The SWS is headed by Poe’s cousin, Mahar Mangahas.

Poe was edged out by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the controversial elections after losing by 1.5 million votes in Metro Manila and by a landslide in Cebu.

Analysts said surveys may be good indicators of public opinion and perception, but they do not dictate the outcome of elections.

Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes himself admitted that a survey is no assurance of the outcome of the presidential elections. He said that in previous elections, there had been a big difference between their results and the actual tally of votes.

Other factors come into play, and much of the battle is won on the ground. They said Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manny Villar has the upper hand in the ground war and when it comes to delivery of actual votes since NP has built the most solid of alliances and has cornered overwhelming support all over the country. The party managed to field candidates in almost all elective positions in the local level.