“The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — THOSE running for public office in the May 2019 Philippine elections shouldn’t allow themselves to be distracted by the results of “surveys” commissioned by legitimate or shady outfits, especially those that have sprung to life only during the election seasons.
Whether they “lagged behind” or were “leading”, the results of these “surveys” do not necessarily spell doomsday or ensure a victory for any candidate during the day of reckoning.
If the results say candidate so and so is trailing by a certain percentage, it’s only tantamount to a mosquito bite with no immediate life-threatening harm.
If the results show a certain candidate is “winning by a wide margin”, it’s only equivalent to a Shiatsu massage in a candidate’s ego with no actual majestic trip to Shangri-La.
There were cases though when bogus surveys yielded positive results for narcissistic or egomaniac bets especially if the other camp doesn’t do its homework and are snoring during the frenetic mind game.
This is where a mosquito bite can be fatal and deadly.
In fact, surveys–legit or not–are sometimes being utilized only by political spin doctors and PR wheeler dealers working for one candidate to out-psych the rivals.
In some cases, candidates who get favorable results or who stand to benefit from the lutong Macao survey had no idea or were never tipped off by their handlers who egregiously hammered out the inside job.
It’s actually done as a form of mind-conditioning.
Some undecided voters would cast their lot with the “sure winners” (based on the surveys) even if they would have chosen another candidates–on the second thought–if they weren’t influenced by the pesky surveys.
I’ve been covering local and national elections since after democracy was restored in the Philippines these past 30 years, and I could count only with my fingers candidates who emerged victorious after “topping” the surveys.
Most of these survey “winners” who had no inkling whether the surveys were meant for their self aggrandizement or really commissioned by independent professional groups, nearly suffered a heart attack when the election results showed they were waylaid by a mile.
The late Timoteo “Nene” Consing always made Mansueto Malabor eat the dust in various surveys during the mayoral contest in Iloilo City in 1992, but Malabor routed him in the actual election.
Former assemblyman Salvador “Buddy” Britanico clobbered the late former justice secretary Raul Gonzalez in the “surveys” for congressman in Iloilo City’s lone district in 1998, but the former tanodbayan trounced him in the homestretch.
Danding Cojuangco was one of the topnotchers in as far as “winners” in the elections were concerned.
In the 1992 presidential elections, the former Marcos crony “beat” Fidel V. Ramos, the late Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ramon Mitra, Jovito Salonga, and Imelda Marcos in various dizzying surveys that popped out left and right weeks before the election day.
Joe De Venecia, who never lost in “surveys” for president in 1998, lost by six million votes to Erap Estrada.
The late Fernando Poe Jr. routed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in various surveys but lost by a small margin during the 2014 presidential contest.
For the May 2019 bets, focus on your campaign and wait until after the biggest and final “survey” which is hours after all the ballots have been counted.