The presidential election of 2022 is a sweeping landslide victory for the Ferdinand Marcos Jr.-Sara Duterte team, and for the first time in years, marks a win with a strong majority vote of the electorate. This has not happened since 1987.
The latest unofficial report (with 96.55 percent of precincts processed) shows Marcos has 30,643,024 votes cast for him representing 58.77 percent of votes cast, while Leni Robredo (the second-place presidential candidate) received 14,620,036 votes or 28.04 percent of votes.
For most of the earlier returns from the precinct tallies, Sara Duterte trailed the votes received by Marcos by a small margin. But with the late influx of Mindanao votes, her numbers have turned the tide and received slightly more votes, with 31,028,555 votes, or 61.18 percent of the votes for vice president.
Historical comparison. As a historical curiosity, Bongbong Marcos’ electoral victory is relatively below that of Ramon Magsaysay’s in 1953. Magsaysay received 68.9 percent of votes cast compared to defeated incumbent Elpidio Quirino who received 37.2 percent. This meant that Magsaysay’s percentage margin was 31.7 percentage points over his main opponent, President Quirino. Bongbong Marcos’ (provisional) margin over Robredo is 30.7 percentage points, which is just a percentage point lower than Magsaysay’s.
In the 1969 election, the senior Marcos received 61.4 percent of the popular vote over Sergio Osmena Jr. who received only 38.5 percent of the votes. In comparison, Bongbong Marcos’ margin of 30 percentage point margins over Robredo is better than that of the senior Marcos over Osmena Jr., which was a 22.9 percentage point difference.
Reasons for the sweeping outcome. A new industry trying to explain this outcome will likely result as a consequence of this political change.
The changing political wind was captured by the outcomes of pre-election surveys that have been well-quoted prior to the vote. The election returns were accurately predicted by the pre-election presidential surveys conducted by Pulse Asia, most specifically.
My own analysis of this fact is rooted in the continued underperformance of the Philippine economy since the late 1980s. The political structure that underpinned economic developments made it very difficult to introduce sensible economic reforms that promoted competition and open markets. Some of that has been expressed in many writings that I have undertaken in this column. There are more occasions in the future for a more thoughtful presentation of this view.
The alliance between the forces of the Marcos political bloc and those of Duterte’s Mindanao bloc created great synergies for the Marcos-Duterte team in this election. The analysis of this piece adds great credence on the election outcome.
For the moment, I quote a short piece published in the Washington Post digital edition on May 6, under the title “Who’s voting for ‘Bongbong’ Marcos to be the next Filipino president?” The authors are Dean Dulay (Management University of Singapore), Ronald Holmes (De la Salle University and president of Pulse Asia Research), Allen Hicken and Anil Menon (professor and Ph.D. student, respectively, of University of Michigan), all political scientists.
“Consistent with the maxim that all politics are local, one of the strongest predictors of vote choice in the upcoming election is whether the survey respondent is from the same region as a particular candidate.
“By far the strongest Marcos supporters are those who hail from the Marcos family’s home base in the Ilocos region – 81 percent of Ilocanos indicated that they intended to vote for Marcos.
“The strongest opposition comes from voters in the Bicol region, home to Marcos’ chief opponent, Leni Roberdo. Only nine percent of Bicolanos said they would vote for Marcos. But Marcos scored high among voters from Mindanao, the home region of his running mate, Sara Duterte.
“To put this into context, a voter from the Ilocos region is nine times more likely to vote for Marcos than is a voter from the Bicol region. As we shall see, regional differences account for much more variation than either age or socioeconomic status.
“We also looked at three sets of political attitudes – how voters see the current president, who is ineligible to run for another term; how they feel about the late Ferdinand Marcos; and how they feel about martial law during his tenure. The survey data suggests that approval for Duterte correlates closely with support for Bongbong Marcos. Duterte, whose ‘war on drugs’ and other strongman tactics have been controversial, is also the father of Marcos’s running mate, Sara Duterte.
“Among those who strongly disapprove of Rodrigo Duterte, only 16 percent intended to vote for Marcos, compared with 76 percent of those who said they were strong supporters of the current president.
“Respondents’ views about the late Ferdinand Marcos and the martial law he imposed from 1972 to 1981 are among the strongest predictors of vote preference in this election. Voters who had negative or strongly negative views of Ferdinand Marcos were much less likely to support his son, while more than 80 percent who strongly approved of Ferdinand Marcos were likely to vote for the younger Marcos.
“Similarly, zero respondents who held strongly negative views of martial law supported the current frontrunner, while only 18 percent of those with negative views of martial law were likely to vote for the younger Marcos.”
For archives of previous Crossroads essays, go to: https://www.philstar.com/authors/1336383/gerardo-p-sicat. Visit this site for more information, feedback and commentary: http://econ.upd.edu.ph/gpsicat/