Me trailing? Santiago prefers online polls
FOR SEN. MIRIAM Defensor-Santiago, online polls trump traditional surveys in measuring voters’ preference for a particular presidential candidate.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Santiago said she was relying on social media instead of “traditional media,” citing a “survey” on a Facebook page where she ranked No. 1 among presidential candidates.
“Social media is the key to winning the 2016 elections. Traditional politicians can always pay for advertisements or even preelection surveys, but no amount of money can silence Filipinos on social media,” she said, noting there are an estimated 40 million social media users in the country.
The senator has 3.2 million followers on Facebook and 2.1 million followers on Twitter.
Santiago issued the press statement days after the Inquirer ran the results of a recent survey in Metro Manila by Pulse Asia Research Inc. showing that she was trailing four other presidential candidates.
The Pulse Asia survey, conducted on Nov. 11-12, found that 34 percent of voters in Metro Manila would vote for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte if the presidential election were held at the time of the poll.
Santiago came in with 7 percent, behind Sen. Grace Poe, who placed second with 26 percent; Vice President Jejomar Binay, who garnered 22 percent; and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who got 11 percent.
She was elated by the informal survey done by the Facebook site called Pinoy History, noting that 48 percent of the respondents said they would vote for her if the elections were held Sunday.
A check with the site showed the survey had been answered by 201 respondents, but it did not provide demographic details and did not say when it was conducted.
The senator also cited another Facebook survey that she topped, the one conducted last month in a fan page of Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
According to the post dated Oct. 20, the survey had 525 respondents of whom 400 preferred Santiago.
Santiago said she topped the online surveys even if she was the only presidential candidate who had not taken out campaign ads in the “traditional media,” referring to television, radio and print.
She criticized other candidates for campaigning ahead of the official campaign period, between Feb. 9 and May 7 next year.
“A protracted campaign period corrupts elected officials because it allows them to spend more and more money for ads. They are bound to steal that money back when they are in office,” she said.
“In addition, sincere but poor candidates always lose their chance to serve the public to richer and more popular candidates. In the absence of a law that will break this cycle, social media is the equalizer,” Santiago added.
Santiago, who has stage 4 lung cancer, has had limited public engagements since she filed her certificate of candidacy on Oct. 16.
Santiago admitted to having lung cancer in July last year. A year later, she said that her cancer had been arrested and that she had been cleared by her doctors to run for President.
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