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Pulse Asia defends sampling methods amid criticisms on latest survey

/ 06:00 PM May 03, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes on Tuesday defended the sampling methods of the polling firm in its latest presidential survey held from April 16 to 21, insisting that it is still representative of Filipino voters’ preferences in the nearing May 9 elections.

This came after critics pointed out numerous “flaws” in the non-commissioned pre-election survey Pulse Asia conducted — one of which was from the former secretary-general of the National Statistical Coordination Board Romulo Virola, who pointed out there was an underrepresentation of certain age groups and overrepresentation of those who did not reach college and disproportionate representation of socioeconomic classes.

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However, in an interview over CNN Philippines, Holmes explained that regardless of the disproportionate representation of sectors, the results are still nationally representative of Filipino voters.

“Basically our sampling method secures that there is a representation and the total survey results would be representative of the entire country,” said Holmes.

“Whether there was an undersampling of age group, I need to check whether this is something within the margin of error for that particular segment, but the thing is that we’ve done the survey and we feel that it is nationally representative,” he added.

He also questioned whether the supposed underrepresentation or overrepresentation of groups based on their educational attainment would have an impact on the representativeness of the total sample.

“It is pretty difficult to come up with a survey that would really match the proportion based on educational attainment. In the first place, it’s difficult to come up with a sampling frame where you have knowledge of the people who have graduated from elementary school or the people who completed college,” said Holmes.

Holmes also defended its classification of socioeconomic classes, explaining that it is the same one used by other market research and public opinion firms.

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“What we’ve seen in our own surveys is that the A, B, C, D, and E classification is a stable classification across time in the surveys we’ve done since 1999,” said Holmes.

Despite all these, Holmes admitted that there are still factors or specific conditions that their polls will not be able to predict, one of which is the actual voter turnout on May 9.

“One of the things that survey institutions or organizations have noted is that there are things that you cannot in any way account for, one would be voting turnout,” said the polling firm head.

“But in the past our surveys, especially the ones closest to the elections, have come very close to the actual results,” Homes added.

On Monday, exactly a week before the national and local elections, the Pulse Asia polling firm released its final presidential surveys where it showed almost zero movement in the latest Pulse Asia presidential survey held from April 16 to 21.

The two frontrunners continue to be Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.  and Vice President Leni Robredo, with the former continuing to lead with 56 percent of the respondents and Robredo at 23 percent.

READ: Almost no movement in Pulse Asia’s latest survey; Marcos still leads

The survey results were obtained by interviewing 2,400 respondents aged 18 and above while maintaining a ± 2% error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.

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