20 percent of voters may still change their presidential choices, analyst says

Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 08 2022 01:43 PM | Updated as of May 08 2022 02:03 PM

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MANILA — About 20 percent of Filipino voters may still change their mind about who to vote for president in the May 9 polls, a political analyst said Sunday.

Stratbase ADR Institute managing director Dindo Manhit told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo said that based on their analysis on the survey of Pulse Asia, another 21 percent of voters also have a "small possibility" of reconsidering their initial preferences.

These so-called "soft voters," Manhit said, may still be convinced and encouraged to vote for other bets before they cast their ballots on Monday.

He also noted that survey results may not necessarily reflect the actual outcome of the May 9 elections, saying these are "preferences of the moment" or during the period when they were conducted. 

Manhit said that while former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. enjoys a consistent wide lead in the Pulse Asia pre-election surveys, only 35 percent of his voting base are strong, committed voters whose minds are already made up.

His closest rival Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, has 20 percent of these committed voters. 

"May mga soft supporters pa rin sila. Baka makumbinsi pa, so tingnan natin," Manhit said.

(They stlil have soft supporters, so let see if they can still be convinced.)

Manhit reiterated that a day before the polls, the presidential race has already been reduced into a two-way battle between Marcos and Robredo.

The outcome of the polls, he said, will determine which campaigning approach is more effective—Marcos' "command vote" based on local endorsements and political machinery, or Robredo's "retail vote" based on volunteer-driven campaigns.

"Sila ang dapat nating bantayan kasi sila ang may kapasidad dahil sa pure energy of the campaigns," Manhit said.

(They are the ones we need to look out for because of their capacity to bring out pure energy of their campaigns.)

"But at the end of the day, ang pinakaimportanteng survey... ay iyong actual election day. Mahalaga iyong 'get out and vote' messaging. Parehong iyan ang mensahe ng dalawang kampanya," he added.

(But at the end of the day, the most important survey is on election day. The 'get out and vote' messaging is also important, and that is the message of both campaigns.)

He said supporters of both Marcos Jr. and Robredo can still convince people to vote for their bets a day before the polls, making sure that they don't violate any election law.

Comelec Commissioner George Garcia had said that supporters are essentially exempted from the campaign ban on Sunday. 

In the latest April Pulse Asia survey released a week before the polls, Marcos remained the frontrunner in the presidential race.

He maintained his 56 percent rating, while Robredo got 23 percent.

After the release of the polling firm's final pre-election survey last Monday, Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes said the house-to-house campaign of Robredo and the battle of campaign rallies of the leading presidential candidates may still affect voter preference by May 9.

He noted that the final survey was conducted around three weeks before voting day.

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