Bongbong Marcos has 'every advantage' in presidential campaign: analyst

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 17 2022 11:26 AM | Updated as of Feb 17 2022 07:20 PM

Photo composite of presidential candidates in the upcoming May elections. file photo
Photo composite of presidential candidates in the upcoming May elections. file photo

MANILA - Presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has every advantage in his campaign which leads to his topping recent election surveys, a campaign strategist said Thursday.

The former senator, son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., had kept his lead in a commission Social Weather Stations survey with 60 percent of respondents saying they would vote for him "if the May 2022 elections were held today."

"Campaigns are always a mixture of four Ms, it’s man, message, machinery and money and having said that it seems Marcos Jr. seems to have every advantage in every M so that could explain his lead in all of the survey firms’ pre-election ratings," campagn strategist Alan German told ANC's Headstart.

"The reason why there's so much difficulty eating (into) the Marcos Jr votes is because of cannibalism among the remaining candidates. You see it in social media, it’s Marcos Jr versus everybody else."

German said Marcos seems to be evoking his father "very much."

"Not sure if his handlers are doing this very consciously, but his manner of speaking, even the way he combs his hair, his inflections, they're all very evocative of his father Marcos Sr and this really instills nostalgia in people, what they call the new nostalgia, even among the young people whose parents tell them about the 'golden era' etc," he said.

Marcos' campaign also makes use of the 'inspire, motivate' messaging, German said, citing the candidate's "Babangon Tayo Muli" slogan and the "Tallano gold myth" that motivates voters in the short-term.

The former senator's machinery is "well-organized and well-oiled" and also makes use of the machinery of his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, German said.

"In terms of financial resources. I will not make nay lengthy commentary but I think it is well-established their resources are quite very formidable," he added.

HOW TO TAKE DOWN MARCOS?

In order to "take down" the survey leader, the other candidates must give way to the second placer, German said.

Vice President Leni Robredo finished second at the survey with 18 percent of respondents supporting her, followed by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso and Senator Manny Pacquiao with 11 percent each.

Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson took 6 percent in the latest survey, followed by labor leader Leody De Guzman with 0.3 percent; Jose Montemayor, with 0.1 percent; and Ernie Abella and Faisal Mangondato, with 0.04 percent each.

"The assumption is to take down the survey leader, having said that I think the answer should be everybody below the second placer," he said.

It is necessary at this point in the election campaign to "attack," especially with Marcos' lead in the surveys, according to German.

Voters for Marcos, even the less tenacious ones, would never switch to the Robredo camp and vice versa, according to the campaign strategist. 

"The conventional wisdom would say it would actually favor mayor Moreno more because again the fallout, the non-tenacious Marcos Jr voters, less-tenacious would never necessarily go to VP Leni because they are 'anybody but Leni,'" he said.

"Any castoff or turned off voters from attack incidents would favor mayor Isko."

Should Pacquiao withdraw, his voters would "primarily go to VP Leni" while Domagoso would benefit if Lacson would withdraw, German said.

"I think it would be Mayor Isko who would benefit from Lacson withdrawing. He's a 'get it done guy, action guy.' Mayor Isko is almost a young senator Ping if you think about it in those terms," he said.

Should Marcos win the May elections, German said he was "hoping and praying it’s a story of redemption."

"If indeed he does win, first of all the voice of the people...that’s the way democracy works. The prayer is he will take this experience and he will take this as a redemption story," he said.

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