Constantly amazed by his logic. A political scientist with a PhD who reasons as he does should be stripped of his doctoral degree. Surveys are based on science because the discipline of statistics is involved. As such, there is the survey design made by a statistician or a data analyst. It has to be totally random in order for the results not to be skewed. If skewed then the purpose of the survey is defeated. Antonio Contreras in his Manila Times piece “A wrong reading of the surveys” screams about how “the recent Pulse Asia Survey” was taken as “an early coronation of the Duterte-Duterte tandem” by “practically every media outfit”. He writes his rebuttal to that interpretation…
To label 28 percent and 18 percent voter preferences as an overwhelming and formidable show of support is absurd. And if the Dutertes are truly powerful as a brand, it would have been simply impossible the President’s much-touted 90 percent trust and approval ratings can just vanish and now become a pitiful 18 percent preference, as if a DDS who worships Duterte can opt to vote for someone else as his vice president.
…and then cleverly inserts his plug writing how, “[our] own survey in DigiVoice, when read parallel with the Pulse Asia survey, in fact could complete the dire picture which this much vaunted political dynasty may be facing. Because we did not measure voter preference relative to specific positions, but only the extent of the voter base of potential voters for a particular candidate in any position, our survey provided a measure of the extent of the potential electoral power of any political brand. Sara Duterte had only a 37.6 percent voter base, while her father, 34.2 percent. Thus, while their numbers reflected in the Pulse Asia survey of 28 percent and 18 percent respectively can still improve, it is possible such may not go beyond their voter bases.”
Not all surveys are correct, of course. Think of Hillary Clinton’s pollsters who had her leading by 10 points in the 2016 election. Election night had Hillary losing to Donald Trump in what was considered a major upset. Last night, I read an article about a statement made by the national group of pollsters in the US saying they made a mistake in their surveys for Congressional races. This is why the Republicans were able to cut down the majority of the Democrats in 2020. They appear to be headed to victory in this year’s midterm election. Bad news for the administration of President Joe Biden.
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The problem with Contreras is he lets his hatred of Duterte get in the way of his analysis. He continues to insist that Duterte has a voter base of only 18% per their survey. But the problem with this is the sample size is only 1,500 out of a possible 60M voters. It doesn’t mean that if Duterte ran for Vice-President he would only get 18% of the vote. The same is true with his fallacious claim with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s voter base being at 53%. If the election were held today, would it be guaranteed that Isko would win?
Again, surveys are just snapshots to extract information from the electorate. Aside from the science, there is also the gut feel. You want to get the pulse of the people you talk to the man on the street. You want their palpable opinion, you talk to a taxi driver or a barber. Why? They’re the most updated on political issues on account of their jobs having them tuned-in to AM radio to pass their time while doing their work over the course of a day. Contreras wants his followers to swallow his pronouncements as gospel truth while engaging in credentialism. Tag-diez na nga ang mga political analyst at strategist ngayon. Everyone who is on social media is one because they can’t avoid expressing their opinion. That’s what social media is for to begin with. In Contreras’s case, it appears more to be sour-graping given his history of what he refers to as “critical collaboration.” In reality, he’s just pissed that he doesn’t have the same kind of popularity his fellow “Duterte Die-hard Supporters” (DDS) have now.
In social media, content is king. It’s a question of where you want to position yourself as a pundit. While likes and followers are indicators, what you write about still counts, more so the logic of your argument. What ails Contreras is the same with the Opposition; they like to ram opinions down people’s throats. Unfortunately for those sorts, each individual has the freedom to choose. There is also discernment. No one has the right to force any one to become a believer. You have to sell your ideas in the marketplace. If people buy it, good. If not, then it simply means that your reading of their sentiments is wrong.
It’s now up to you to decide how you will position yourself in the market. Respect begets respect. It’s fairly obvious that the good professor is afflicted with narcissism. He behaves like a six year old whenever anyone disagrees with his opinion. Being a control freak doesn’t get you anywhere. As early as October 2016 when Contreras and the other members of what became the DDS bloggers got together, I already foresaw they wouldn’t last long enough because each and everyone had a hidden agenda. It would become a game of one-upmanship. By 2017, they were already at each other’s throats. This is what happens when your beliefs aren’t based on principles. Contreras’ piece today is a reflection exactly of how he thinks.
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