I took a look at the data John put together and since I'm a visual person, I tried to graph the survey results. Here they are: I think that looking at the numbers as colorful lines helps us see, straight off the bat, the relative positions of the candidates vis-a-vis each other; the distances between each can be quite large. Second of all, by looking at the numbers as color-coded lines, we can try to see if the various candidates are on an upward trajectory, or are waning, waning in their rankings. And where their momentum, such as it is, might bring them in terms of the other candidates. Most candidates are headed up (Joker most sharply of all), though mainly on a kind of gentle movement upwards, but two seem firmly headed down an equally gentle but still clearly downward slope: Sotto, Pimentel, and Aquino-Oreta. As for Cayetano, he seems to be creaking along. Just for fun, I decided to provide the top 6 candidates with triple color-coded lines. They represent the spread, so to speak, that each survey number actually represents. The figures, after all, usually come with the caveat that they are within a certain margin of error, usually plus or minus 3 points. So the three lines for each represents their maximum (reported score plus three), their actual (reported score) and minimum (reported score minus three) and it helps show how some candidates like Legarda are verging on the phenomenal (approaching 60% if you look at her maximum) while the rest are really practically neck-and neck: Over the past couple of years, I've come to the conclusion that broadly speaking, we can break down the political constituencies as follows: that when it comes to public opinion, you can basically break them down as follows: 25% support the President; 25% are undecided, but inclined to keep the status quo; and 50% oppose the President, but among themselves, are divided anywhere along 5 different options as to what to do. In contrast, supporters of the President are divided only two ways: absolute or conditional support (absolute meaning, backing her until 2010, conditional being, so long as she continues to support certain agendas such as charter change, etc.) The result is basically a fifty-fifty split, with the edge actually belonging to the President. Now it's from that perspective that I view these colorful lines. If we view the President's partisans as a maximum of 25%, then that is the constituency that the administration can mobilize best of all; an additional 25% is in play for them; and for the administration candidates, the question becomes, can the candidae appeal to the loyal 25%, the undecided 25%? And for an opposition candidate, can you either maximize the a big chunk of the 50% temperamentally suited to respond to an opposition message, or reach out to the 25% undecided (presuming the 25% hard-core loyalists of the administration are beyond any opposition candidate's reach). john notes that the scores of the various candidates, opposition or administration, are pretty weak compared to previous races. Which suggests to me that both slates aren't particularly inspiring, even to the basic constituencies of both sides. Though there are exceptions. Again, Legarda seems able to harness a very big chunk indeed of the opposition constituency, and if you look at her maximum numbers, she may actually be crossing over from the territory of the opposition, and enticing part of the undecided. Lacson among the opposition, seems the runner-up in mobilizing a broader range of opposition voters. But Recto, Angara and Arroyo (Joker) on the other hand, seem the most capable in harnessing both the administration chunk of votes, and the undecideds, though none of the administration candidates seem capable (yet, anyway) of fully maximizing what their administration affiliation should be able to offer: if a really energizing administration candidate, for example, would be able to tap into a constituency of 50% (the President's loyal 25% plus the undecided 25%) even if the candidate were to totally alienate opposition-minded voters, no administration candidate has managed it yet. And others, for example Aquino-Oreta (who has probably alienated opposition voters) are doing miserably even within the administration's partisans, indeed. Back to Joker: he and Pangilinan could be said to have mobilized, or appealed to, the undecided 25% best of all; the rest (about 10% or so for each) either comes from the administration or the opposition, or both. Recto, Angara and Villar too: this makes them, in a sense, the centrist candidates. But those are just impressions, an approach based on politics as an art and not hard science. For that most crucial thing, the bandwagon effect, it seems the only big bandwagon, right now, is Legarda's though there are mini bandwagons taking up the rear.
Here they are:I think that looking at the numbers as colorful lines helps us see, straight off the bat, the relative positions of the candidates vis-a-vis each other; the distances between each can be quite large. Second of all, by looking at the numbers as color-coded lines, we can try to see if the various candidates are on an upward trajectory, or are waning, waning in their rankings.... Most candidates are headed up (Joker most sharply of all), though mainly on a kind of gentle movement upwards, but two seem firmly headed down an equally gentle but still clearly downward slope: Sotto, Pimentel, and Aquino-Oreta.
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