LP says Aquino's base is 'solid'
MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - Senator Manny Villar of the Nacionalista Party has further cut the lead of survey frontrunner Senator Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino in a special survey of Social Weather Stations (SWS) commissioned by the Villar camp after Christmas.
Based on the December 27-28 SWS Special December Survey, Aquino's lead over Villar was down to 11 percentage points from 27 percentage points in November 4-8 (SWS national commissioned survey), and 22 percentage points in December 8-10 (Pulse Asia Pre-Election survey).
A total of 2,100 respondents were asked to choose from a list of presidential candidates who they were likely to vote for president if elections were held on the day the survey was conducted.
In the December 27-28 survey, 44% picked Aquino, while 33% chose Villar.
In the latest survey, Aquino was down 2% from the December 5-10 SWS survey (from 46% to 44%), while Villar was up 6% (from 27% to 33%).
Another significant change was the number of undecided: it fell from 4% in December 5-10 to only 1% in December 27-28.
Former President Joseph Estrada was chosen by 15%, statistically the same as the December 5-10 survey where he got 16%.
Administration candidate Gilbert Teodoro of the Lakas-Kampi got the same level of support as in the December 5-10 survey with 5%.
Brother Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas also got the same support as the early December survey with 1%.
Senators Richard Gordon, Jamby Madrigal, and Ang Kapatiran's JC de los Reyes got less than 1% support.
Villar has been outspending his rivals in political advertisements in recent months.
He has marketed himself as someone who comes from the ranks of the poor and will work to help the poor, while Aquino has projected himself as the clean candidate.
The special SWS survey has a margin of error of plus/minus 2.2%.
Aquino's base 'solid'
In response to the survey, Aquino's campaign spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino's base remains solid, despite their limited ad spending.
"Despite the absence of air war, we maintained our base. Our base is very solid," he said.
Lacierda said Villar got more support at the expense of other candidates, excluding Aquino. "Hindi kami nabawasan. He got his votes from other candidates."
He pointed out that the 2% drop in Aquino's ratings is within the 2.2% margin of error.
He attributed Villar's numbers to heavy political advertisements.
"He has spent a lot on advertising. We only have a few so far. Wait for us to advertise," Lacierda said.
He said the Aquino camp is "not bothered" by the survey results.
"It is very clear that we have a solid base. Our message against corruption is clear," he said.
'Watch out for Noynoy's ads'
Liberal Party spokesman Lorenzo Tañada III, for his part, said: "Our numbers are stable. We have not lost anything. His (Villar's) increase did not come from us."
Tañada said that "admittedly, we cannot match his war chest."
"We will have to be smarter in using our resources. Our ads will have to be smarter in using our resources. Our ads will be strategic and tactical," he said.
With a month left before the start of the official campaign period for national posts, Tañada said their ads "are being conceptualized."
He said the LP's target is for Aquino's rating to "go beyond 50%."
"If we can do that, panalo na kami," he said. -- with reports from Carmela Fonbuena, abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak