After poor survey showing, Miriam may be out of pres'l race: analyst


MANILA - After consistently scoring single digits in pre-election surveys, presidential candidate and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago may no longer catch up with her leading rivals, a political analyst said Saturday.

"I would count her out na. Kasi ilang surveys na iyan, pababa siya nang pababa. Maliit na nga siya, pababa pa," Institute for Political and Electoral Reform executive director Ramon Casiple told radio dzMM.

The latest Pulse Asia survey, conducted February 15 to 24, showed Santiago as the least preferred president of the respondents.

Santiago got only 3% voter support in the survey, down by one point from her previous 4% in January.

Casiple said these figures reflect the sentiments of voters on the senator's presidential bid.

"Sa tingin ko, may perception ang botante na either hindi siya seryoso o kaya talagang wala nang chances o tingin nila na iyung kanyang health problems ay insurmountable," he added.

Casiple also said a poor showing in surveys one month into the official campaign period entails problems for a candidate.

"Basta nag-single digit ka by this time, one month after ng start ng official campaign, hindi ka tumitinag sa single digit, may problema kang malaki," he said.

Casiple said this also holds true for Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Gregorio Honasan II who lagged behind in the vice presidential race.

Trillanes and Honasan secured only 6% and 4% of the votes, respectively, in the latest Pulse survey.

The analyst said candidates with poor survey ratings can only hope for an unexpected and highly-charged incident to have any fighting chance in the May 9 polls.

Leading candidates, meanwhile, cannot afford any scandal now that voters are giving their full attention to the elections, Casiple said.

"Anything na mababasa sa diyaryo, social media, anywhere na makakakuha sila ng information, pasok na iyan sa kalkulasyon nila (mga botante)... Magiging factor na iyan sa mga decisions nila," he explained.

Senator Grace Poe and Vice-President Jejomar Binay shared the lead in survey of the presidential race, with ex-DILG chief Mar Roxas and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also statistically tied with Binay.

Senators Francis Escudero and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., meanwhile, were also in a statistical tie at the top spot of the vice presidential race.

Behind them was Liberal Party vice-presidential bet Camarines Rep. Leni Robredo and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.