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Opinion

The Robredo campaign phenomena

FROM FAR AND NEAR - Ruben Almendras - The Freeman

The events in the Robredo campaign in the past weeks have been extraordinary and have not been observed in previous election campaigns, that it can be rightfully called a phenomenon. However, it is not just a single phenomenon or happening but multiple and serial, which is why we have to use the plural “phenomena”.

The events we are referring are the public expressions of support from many sectors that cut across economic classes, demographics, geographic and sectoral groupings, the amount of volunteer work done by her supporters from these groups, the massive crowds that are showing up in her sorties, the dominance of her campaign in the main and social media in a matter of weeks, and the shift of support of many traditional politicians to her candidacy as election day gets closer.

These happenings are evidenced by the published/posted pledges of support in the main and social media by private/ex-government employee groups, health workers associations, retired/ex-military officials, accountants and economist federations, religious organizations, small and big business associations, teachers/employee groups, and various youth/student organizations. On top of these are individual endorsements of Robredo by celebrities in the entertainment, sports, and media industries.

These support and endorsements carried with them, contributions of talent, time, and resources, that most of the campaign materials were donated by these groups. Materials, including songs and jingles were done for free by the creative talents and aired/posted also for free. Billboards, tarpaulins, wall paintings, t-shirts, comics, and other printed materials were made and paid for by volunteer groups. The expenses for the campaign rallies were shouldered by the volunteer groups and not by Robredo’s headquarters. The campaign strategies and ideas were even provided for free by private volunteer think tanks and creative minds in the advertising and PR industry. And most of all, the volunteer groups are out there campaigning for Robredo. The crowds in Robredo’s rallies in different towns and cities, that range from 10,000 to 80,000 people, are crowds that have not been seen in the last four presidential elections.

The impetus of these extraordinary events are; Robredo is the better candidate, people want change, there is a blowback/backlash on the revisionism of history by Marcos, and there is an emerging anti-dynasty sentiment. Robredo, a lawyer who had served as public attorney, congresswoman, and vice president has the credentials and the experience in public service. She is also a charismatic/caring personality and a tireless campaigner. By the end of March, she will have covered more places and talked to more people than all of the other presidential candidates combined.

As of February, some poll surveys are already reflecting the Robredo phenomena while some are not. It is in the playbook/algorithm of Cambridge Analytica strategy that the poll surveys should always favor their clients. So, we have to reduce the preference percentage of their client by the 25%. The 5% due to the biased questions, 5% due to the distortion favoring geographic/economic classes in their random sample, 5% due to intimidation factor, 5% on interviewer corruption, and 5% on errors. The sample of the questions show that the sequence of the questions led to directed answers, and it was admitted that the actual questioning was subcontracted to another entity. The 100 personnel asking the 1,200 random individuals to answer are easily susceptible to influence.

This means that as of February, Robredo and BBM were even at 35% in this poll survey. In other surveys which had bigger population samples, like the social media and newspaper surveys, Robredo was already leading but were assailed as not representative, as it was not randomized samples, but if we combined all these sectoral surveys, which would total already millions of voters, it actually is a cross-section of all sectors and classes and are actually random. The Google Analysis showing the trend for Robredo is the validation of the Robredo surge starting mid-February.

In mid-April 2016, I opined that Duterte has a 70% probability of winning on the basis of trend and polls analytics. As Robredo’s campaign phenomena has made her trend a “sigmoid” curve since March, using the same analytics, she has now a 70% probability of winning with seven weeks to the election. So, many mayors, governors, and congressmen are shifting to Robredo, like Rufus Rodriguez, Escudero, Salceda, Oscar Moreno, and many others.

ELECTION

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