Manila Standard : The pre-election surveys were correct

By Louis "Barok" Biraogo | Manila Standard

“The so-called experts should be exposed and discredited.”

Since late 2021 and on to the first four months of 2022, the election surveys consistently placed Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (BBM) and Sara Duterte as the frontrunners in the presidential and vice presidential races, respectively.

The election surveys were conducted by established and reputable opinion polling institutions which have been around for quite some time.

It turned out that those election surveys were correct. BBM and Sara clobbered their competition. The second placers were far, far behind them.

Two hours after the end of the voting on May 9, 2022, the partial, unofficial tallies available from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) already indicated tremendous leads for both BBM and Sara over their nearest rivals.

By early morning of the next day, BBM’s closest opponent, Leni Robredo, trailed him by 17 million votes, while Sara’s nearest rival, Kiko Pangilinan, was down further by about 22 million votes.

When almost all of the election returns had been counted and victories for BBM and Sara became inevitable, many of the candidates trailing in the counting gracefully conceded their defeat.

In the presidential race, Manny Pacquiao (third place), Isko Moreno (fourth place) and Ping Lacson (fifth place) officially conceded to BBM.

As for the vice presidential election, Tito Sotto (third place), Willie Ong (fourth place) and Lito Atienza (fifth place) accepted Sara’s electoral victory.

In a speech read in the television news and in social media, Robredo thanked her supporters and urged them to accept the results of the election. She did, however, tell them that they should continue what they had “begun,” whatever that is.

Observers construe Robredo’s statement as a concession to the landslide victory of BBM.

Despite his lost cause, Pangilinan refused to concede. In a statement to the media, Pangilinan insinuated that the election results were questionable. His statement, however, was belied by the election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, which announced that there were no irregularities in the canvassing of votes.

Congress is waiting for the certificates of canvass to be submitted to it by the Comelec. Under the Constitution, Congress proclaims the winning candidates for president and vice president.

Days before the actual election, many pro-Robredo partisans claiming to be “political experts” were disputing the reliability of the election surveys which always showed BBM and Sara in the lead. They alleged that the surveys were defectively prepared, and that the samples used were not representative of the voting population.

Although all of them were very generous with their criticism, the “political experts” failed to show how and why they suddenly became “experts” in statistics, much less in the highly specialized field of public opinion research. In fact, nobody ever heard of them before.

Imagine that! A “political expert” with apparently no substantial background on statistics and public opinion research, disputing the scientific soundness of election surveys conducted by established and reputable opinion research institutions!

Come on, guys! Your political affiliation with the Leni-Kiko camp does not automatically make you competent, reliable and credible public opinion pollsters.

One self-proclaimed “political expert” who appeared on social media cited an unverified election survey supposedly conducted at a public transportation hub. According to that “political expert,” that survey is reliable because it revealed that the public pulse is for the Leni-Kiko tandem.

Really now! Why should we believe an unverified election survey?

A survey made from a sample taken at a public transport hub is not a reliable representation of the cross section of the voting population in the Philippines. That sample does not include people who do not use public transportation; people who do not leave their homes; people who work from home; people who are self-employed; people who work the nightshift; and people who are unemployed.

Even assuming that the unverified election survey cited by that “expert” actually exists, the inference suggested by the “expert” may be statistically accurate, but it is not statistically reliable.

For instance, a survey conducted using a sample of five respondents, with two voting for candidate x, allows an accurate inference that 40% of the voters will choose candidate x on election day, but that inference is not reliable.

At the end of the day, it is very obvious that Leni-Kiko partisans were behind all those dubious attempts to discredit the mainstream election surveys which placed BBM and Sara always in the lead.

Through their statistically unsound and scientifically flawed inferences, these Leni-Kiko partisans tried to mislead the Filipino people into thinking that Leni and Kiko will win in the elections.

As it turned out, the results of the elections proved the mainstream election surveys correct—that BBM and Sara are destined to win the elections.

Those so-called “political experts” who tried to impeach the reliability of the election surveys which consistently predicted a BBM-Sara victory should be exposed and discredited.