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TV NEWS COVERAGE AFFECT CURRENT PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCES

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment

By Pedro “Junie” Laylo Jr., Standard Resident Pollster

The January and February 2010 Laylo Reports explained how political ads of presidential candidates accounted for the dynamics of the presidential votes at that time.  The March 2010 Laylo Report expounded on how news awareness about presidential candidates affected voter preferences for president.  The April 4-6, 2010 Manila Standard poll further explores this aspect of the vote and has found out that the kind of news voters receive have a significant impact on presidential preferences.

In the recent survey, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino continues to lead the pack and his margin over Senator Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr. is 11 percentage points. What has helped him maintain this upper hand?

The latest poll gives a glimpse into how the mass media, particularly television news, are influencing the voting public by framing the agenda. In the case of the current status of the presidential race, what the media report, to a certain extent, has created an effect on presidential vote decisions.

News Awareness and Type of News Received

The extent of news awareness of voters on Presidential candidates remains high, especially for the top two contenders: Aquino (73 percent) and Villar (79 percent).  Levels of news awareness for Estrada and Teodoro are also in the majorities (60 percent and 55 percent respectively) but not as high as those of Aquino and Villar.

For the April 4-6 Standard Poll, voters were also asked to qualify, on the overall, whether the kind of news they have received regarding the candidates were mostly positive or mostly negative. Results show Aquino having an edge — with 75 percent of those aware of news about him saying they received mostly positive news.

For Villar, the figure was only 62 percent; for Estrada, only 52 percent; and for Teodoro, only 58 percent.  The percentages of those who received mostly negative news about the presidential candidates are as follows: 25 percent for Aquino, 38 percent for Villar, 48 percent for Estrada and 42 percent for Teodoro.

The impact of access to news and the quality of news voters received about presidential candidates can be assessed by looking at the vote conversion rates.

Aquino’s 37 percent vote share jumps to 41 percent among those who were aware of news about him and jumps even higher to 48 percent among those who say that the kind of news they received about him were mostly positive.

For Villar, his 25 percent vote share only delivers a measly 28 percent if they are aware of news about him and moves to only 34 percent among those who assessed that the type of news they received about him were positive.

The multiplier effect works to the advantage of Aquino who has significantly more voters saying that the kind of news they have received regarding him were mostly positive.

Given that the vote conversion rates of Estrada, Teodoro and all the other presidential candidates are much lower coupled with the relatively lower levels of news awareness as well as lower levels of perceived positive news generated about them, they currently stand little to gain in terms of votes.

The Trust Factor

Trust levels of candidates also continue to play an important part in explaining the presidential race. The latest survey continued to show declines in net trust ratings for the leading contenders. But it is important to note that Aquino’s drops in net trust levels (from +54 in February to +50 in March to +46 in early April) were not as bad as Villar’s decreasing net trust levels (from a high +53 in February to +35 in March to +28 in early April). For the other presidential contenders, their net trust levels were all way below the two leading contenders.

The trust-to-vote conversion rates offer additional evidence of why Aquino continues to lead the presidential race.  Aquino’s voter conversion rate among those who trust him continues to be high at 55 percent – an eight-point jump from 47 percent in February. In the case of Villar, it moved by only three points up — from 43 percent in February to 46 percent in April.

Relationship of Type of News Received and Trust in Presidentiables

What is the relationship between the types of news received by voters on the presidential candidates with their levels of trust for them?  Tests of correlation show that the kind of news received by voters drive the level of trust voters have on presidential candidates.

This means that the more positive news voters say they received about a candidate, the greater trust they have for that specific candidate.

Most Trusted Source of News

Where do voters get most of their information?  In the series of Manila Standard polls, voters were asked their most trusted source of news.  A great majority — ranging from 80 percent to 85 percent — of voters nationwide trust TV programs as their major source of news.

Only about 9 percent cite radio programs, 6 percent cite  word of mouth, and 1 percent cite newspapers.  The rise of television as the medium by which most voters secure information on candidates, specifically those running for the highest posts, has become prevalent in past election years.

When probed on what TV news programs voters considered most trustworthy, around 60 to 63 percent of the viewing public considers news and public affairs programs from the ABS-CBN network compared to about 35 to 38 percent who mentioned news and public affairs programs from the GMA network. About 2 percent mentioned news programs from other TV networks.

Linking this with the type of news received by the voting public for each of the presidential candidates, we now can see a better picture of how Aquino was able to maintain his current lead in the presidential race.  Positive TV news coverage generates greater trust, which in turn translates into a higher vote conversion for presidential candidates.

It is also a clear indication of how the mass media – particularly TV news – are currently influencing how the voting public should view the presidential candidates, thus affecting their vote decisions.

In the succeeding Manila Standard polls, as we get closer to Election Day, we shall see if such a pattern persists and if it will define the final presidential election results.

The results of the Manila Standard Today surveys and The Laylo Report can be accessed in the web at https://mstpoll.wordpress.com. Questions, comments can be sent via email to mstpoll@gmail.com.

Tables TV NEWS COVERAGE AFFECT CURRENT PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCES 0410-RP

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NEWS AWARENESS AFFECTS CURRENT PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCES

March 29, 2010 Leave a comment

By Pedro “Junie” Laylo Jr., Standard Resident Pollster

The political campaign is a dynamic process and surveys simply reflect this dynamism as it monitors the ups and downs in voter preferences for candidates.  As the electoral campaign progresses, voters are all the more exposed to what candidates say or do.  Much of the information they get is based on what they watch, hear, or read thru various media forms. This information affects voter decisions and thus can turn to either bigger or smaller vote conversions for specific candidates.

In the March 21-23, 2010 Manila Standard survey, Senator Benigno Aquino III pulled away from Senator Manuel  Villar Jr., widening his lead to 13 points.  Compared to just three weeks ago, Aquino has gained much headway, which can be explained by the data gathered in the survey.

One concept that is closely linked with the vote is the degree of trust in candidates.  Three weeks earlier, Aquino and Villar both had the same high levels of trust. The latest survey shows declines in trust ratings for the leading contenders: While Aquino’s trust level declined by three points, Villar suffered a staggering 12-point drop.

An assessment of the candidates’ exposure both from earned media (news that come out about them) and paid media (advertisements/commercials they themselves paid for), one can see that the major candidates continue to enjoy high levels of exposure, with Villar having slightly higher levels than the other candidates. While news awareness on candidates has somewhat declined, they remain at high levels. Also, there has been a big uptick in the number of radio ads heard and posters/billboards seen.

However, the more important thing to look at is the degree by which actual exposure both from earned and paid media, as well as trust, can translate into actual votes for the candidates. The previous Laylo report assessed how much of the exposure of and trust in candidates translate into actual votes for that candidate. In January, Villar was able to catch up with Aquino due to his high levels of media exposure.  In February, Aquino led by a hair because his media exposure was at par with Villar’s.

In the latest March 21-23 Manila Standard Poll, Villar lost steam because of declines in his vote conversion rates. Compared to three weeks earlier, Villar’s vote conversion rates suffered declines: five points from among those who are aware of news about him; six points from among those who watched his TV ads; seven points from among those who heard his radio ads, six points from among those who read his newspaper ads; eight points from among those who saw his posters/billboards; and five points from among those aware that Villar visited their place since the start of the campaign.

On the other hand, Aquino surged because of increases in vote conversions:  seven points from among those who are aware of news about him; six points from among those who watched his TV ads; five points from among those who heard his radio ads; one point from among those who saw his posters/billboards; and 15 points from among those aware that Aquino visited their place since the start of the campaign.

This reveals that while Villar had a slight advantage over others in terms of media exposure, his vote conversions from among those who watched, heard or read news about him and from those who were able to watch, hear, or read his ads have gone down compared to three weeks ago.  Aquino, on the other hand, had significant increases in vote conversions from those able to access news about him, as well as his TV and radio ads. This could be a sign that Villar has been affected by the negative news content about him, while Aquino might have benefitted from the positive news content about him.

The trust-to-vote conversion rates also give some support to this observation.  Aquino’s voter conversion rate among those who trust him increased to 55percent, eight points up from his previous 47 percent. In the case of Villar, it moved up only one point up 44 percent.

As mentioned at the outset of this article, the political campaign is very dynamic.  The Manila Standard poll also monitors the potential for voters to still change their minds. As of March 21 to 23, there were about 47 percent who could still change their voter preference for President.  This has slightly declined from the 53 percent in the last poll but is still a significant plurality.  Also, about half of the voters for each candidate can potentially shift their votes to other candidates.

Tables News Awareness Affects Current Presidential Preferences 0310-RP

With elections more than a month away, the Manila Standard Today Polls will continue to track the developments in the 2010 elections; reporting the ups and downs, as well as the highs and lows of the Filipino voting patterns as it unfolds.

The results of the Manila Standard Today Poll and The Laylo Report can be accessed in the web at https://mstpoll.wordpress.com. Questions, comments can be sent via email to mstpoll@gmail.com.

VOTERS SWAYED BY PAID ADVERTISEMENTS

March 8, 2010 Leave a comment

By Pedro Laylo Jr.

The candidates’ exposure and image explain why the February results from the Manila Standard survey are almost unchanged from January.

As one monitors the progress of the campaign it is critical to observe how the voting public receives and reacts to the various campaign stimulus created in the process.

Every candidate’s objective is to ensure that they have decent levels of public awareness; that they project a positive image; that they are able to reach the voters; and that they end up being the voter’s choice.

This concept refers to the “Awareness-Image-Vote-decision” continuum and the February 2010 Standard poll monitored this aspect of the Filipino voting public’s decision-making.

Past electoral research shows that candidates whom voters are most aware of, are most trusted, had enough exposure through advertisements, and had personal encounters with voters, eventually wind up getting elected.

In the February 2010 Standard poll, the leading candidates – Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and Senator Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr. – showed the same high levels of awareness of news about them, they had identical trust levels, and voters received about the same intensity of media exposure on them, thus explaining the virtual tie.

Earned media refers to candidates’ exposure due to what voters see, hear or read about them in the various media types. In the February 2010 Standard poll, voters were asked if they were aware of any news about the different presidential candidates in the past week.

A very significant majority are aware of news about Villar (84 percent) and Aquino (81 percent).  A good majority have seen or heard news about Estrada (71 percent) and Teodoro (60 percent).  The other Presidentiables garner less than 50 percent media news exposure.

Of those aware of news about each of the Presidentiables, the respective vote shares of the top four candidates become: 36 percent for Aquino; 33 percent for Villar; 16 percent for Estrada; 8 percent for Teodoro.

The candidates who lead in the race tend to be highly trusted. The February Standard poll results show Aquino and Villar enjoying high levels of trust compared to the other candidates.  About seven in ten had much trust in Aquino and Villar; two in five trusted Estrada; one in three trusted Teodoro.

Among those who say they have much trust in Aquino, close to half vote for him. Of the ones who say they have much trust in Villar, a plurality vote for him.  Of those who trusted Estrada, over a third chose him. Among those with much trust in Teodoro, about a fifth preferred him.

Paid media refers to candidates’ paid advertisements on television, over the radio, in newspapers and through  posters or billboards.  Voters were asked if they definitely watched, listened to, or read an advertisement or commercial or saw any billboards or posters of the presidential candidates.

Voters had a high level of exposure on TV ads of Villar (81 percent) and Aquino (79 percent).  Estrada and Teodoro register decent levels of exposure at 67 percent and 57 percent, respectively.  Senator Richard Gordon, evangelist Eddie Villanueva and Senator Jamby Madrigal managed to have some exposure as well. The rest had very little media coverage.

Assessing vote conversions among those who have been exposed to ads and commercials of candidates in different forms of media, Aquino gained the most among those who heard his radio ads, read about it in newspapers and saw his billboards and posters.  Villar and Estrada benefitted the most from personal visits they made. Teodoro got additional votes among those who read his newspaper ads.

Those who saw the political advertisements of candidates were also asked whether, on the overall, they liked or disliked what they watched.  Very many liked Villar’s (83 percent) and Aquino’s (82 percent) ads. Decent majorities liked the ads of Estrada, Teodoro, Gordon and Villanueva.

Voting conversion rates among those who liked the ads of specific candidates reveal that all of them benefit from it, especially Estrada who gets 10 more points to his vote share among those who saw his ads.

Not very many voters have personally seen or heard about visits of the presidential candidates. But among those who say they had a chance to see or hear about their visit in their place, Estrada and Villar gained the most.

Currently, voters rely heavily on TV commercials and advertisements as well as news about candidates aired on TV. Only about a third found it important that they heard stories of personal visits in their place of residence and about a fourth liked to see candidates participate in discussions and debates. A fifth liked hearing stories about them in newspapers and listening to their radio ads.  Slightly more looked more at billboards and posters of candidates and a few more would like to see sample ballots.

About one in four was able to watch a presidential debate or forum nationwide. Incidences were higher in Metro Manila and in North and Central Luzon, and among the upper and middle classes. Of those who were able to watch those debates, Teodoro was well liked, closely followed by Villar and then Aquino. By economic class, there were more among the rich and middle classes who were impressed by Teodoro followed by Aquino. Among the poor, Teodoro and Villar stood out while among the destitute, Villar was liked the most.

Tables Voters swayed by paid advertisements 0210-RP

THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

February 6, 2010 Leave a comment

By Pedro “Junie” Laylo Jr., Standard Resident Pollster

Surveys are like photographs. They therefore capture only moments in time. But then a picture can express a thousand things. And when placed one after another, it can tell stories. The Standard Poll has captured three snapshots so far on the presidential race – in November 2009, December 2009 and January 2010. With the campaign period about to commence, a story is starting to build up.

Front-runners tied in pre-campaign period

Less than two weeks before the official start of the campaign period, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar – frontrunners in the presidential race — are locked in a statistical dead heat of 36% vs. 34%.

Data by major areas give telltale signs and data by region provide further information. Aquino’s vote shares decreased 10 points with significant declines in Northern/Central Luzon (great drop in Region 3) and in Visayas (huge drop in Region 7). Preference for Villar increased 7 points with considerable increase in Visayas (especially in Region 7).

The Economic Class factor

The Masa economic stratum (Class D) is a whopping 68% nationwide and is a critical voter base. In December 2009, 46% went for Aquino and only 27% were for Villar. Come January 2010, Aquino votes tapered to 37% and Villar’s improved to 34%. When you couple this with Aquino’s eroded base among the upper and middle classes (51% to 38%) and the very poor (45% to 32%) and Villar’s vote increases across the board, a neck-to-neck fight looms.

The Age Group factor

There are also revealing results by age groups. The youth groups with ages ranging from 18 to 34 used to be the turf of Aquino, with 46% and 43% vote shares in December 2009. But this is no longer the situation in January 2010 with only 38% and 35%  going for Aquino in these respective age cohorts. Villar, on the other hand, gathered up votes in these sectors with a significant climb among those aged 18 to 24 from 29% to 41%.

The Core Voters

Analyzing the core vote of the candidates may also help explain the statistical draw between Aquino and Villar. Aquino suffered a decline in core voters from 24% in December 2009 down to 17% in January 2010, while Villar had a slight increase of core voters from 14% to 17%. Total votes up for grabs has also increased to 53% this January 2010 from 48% last December 2009.

Reaching out to voters

There was also a significant movement on what voters perceive as the most effectual means to reach out and convince them. News about candidates aired on TV, TV commercials/ advertisements and stories of personal visits in their place of residence are still considered as the top means to make them aware of candidate’s positions and advocacies. The candidate’s participation in discussions and debates however showed an uptick nationwide from 28% in December 2009 to 33% in January 2010. Increases in preference for debates and discussions among candidates are most evident in NCR, Visayas and Mindanao.

Slogans of Presidentiables

The January 2010 Standard poll also tested for resonance of some of the slogans of the candidates for president. Results reveal that all of the slogans tested for are well-liked by voters. What is noteworthy about the results is that when the degree of liking a slogan is ranked according to percentage of voters saying they like the slogan, “Sipag at Tiyaga” tops the list. “Tunay at Tapat na Nagmamahal sa Masang Pilipino” ranks second. In third to fifth place are: “Galing at Talino”, “Pagbabagong Kailangan sa ating Bagumbayan” and “Tanggalin ang Tiwali. Itama ang Mali. Laban na Tapat. Laban ng Lahat”. Last place is held by the slogan” Bagong Pilipinas, Bagong Pilipino”.

Issues Raised Against Specific Presidentiables

Some of the current issues hounding some of the Presidentiables were looked into in the January 2010 Poll. Respondents were asked whether they perceive a presidential candidate should not be voted for or should still be voted for given specific issues raised against them, without naming any names.

When the percent saying “should no longer vote for this candidate” is ranked from highest to lowest, the following are in the top 5, in this order: 1. “If allegedly involved in murder”, 2. “If being labeled as “autistic”, 3-4. “If reported to be allegedly involved in anomalous projects”, 3-4. “If reported as having mistress or mistresses”, 5. “If had been charged in court before”.

Tabulated against voter preferences, currently the issues do not appear to make any dents or changes in vote shares and rankings. As of now, voters may say one should no longer vote for such a candidate but actual vote for those candidates are still not affected. We have yet to see what will happen as the campaign period takes off in the weeks ahead.

In the coming weeks and months, the changing landscape of the 2010 presidential race will unfold and the Manila Standard Today Poll will be there taking photographs.

The results of the Manila Standard Today Poll and The Laylo Report can be accessed in the web at https://mstpoll.wordpress.com. Questions, comments can be sent via email to mstpoll@gmail.com.

Tables THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE 01-10RP

48% OF VOTERS MAY STILL SWITCH CHOICES

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

by Pedro “Junie” Laylo Jr.

December 28, 2009

THE determinants of the votes for each presidential candidate remain unchanged since November 2009. The most often cited reason for voting for Aquino is still the legacy of his parents Cory and Ninoy and his perceived untainted image. Villar voters persist in their view that he can best help the poor and best advocate the welfare of Filpino workers abroad. Estrada’s believers cling to his pro-poor image. Teodoro voters resolutely see him as smart, intelligent and capable.

The first Laylo report in November 2009 noted that 44 percent of the votes were still up for grabs. This has increased to 48 percent, now that there is a definite list of candidates running for president. The percentage of voters for each candidate who will no longer change their minds about whom they will vote for in the 2010 elections was not markedly different from the November results. This is because the formal campaign period has not yet started.

Among the potential vote shifters, the front-runners are also the major beneficiaries of any shifts in voting choices. Among the potential Aquino vote shifters, 39 percent say Villar is their second choice. Conversely, among the Villar potential vote shifters, 41 percent say Aquino is their second choice.

For the Estrada, Teodoro and Delos Reyes vote shifters, their second choices are split between Aquino and Villar. For the Villanueva vote shifters, Aquino and Estrada stand to gain, while for the Madrigal vote shifters, Villar is their second choice.

It is noteworthy to mention also that there are almost the same percentages of core voters and potential vote shifters for the respective vice presidential partners of the presidential candidates.

The Standard Today Poll also tested the concept of same-ticket voting for president and vice president. When specifically asked about the importance of voting for a president and a vice president who come from the same party, a plurality of 45 percent say this is very important and a fourth say this is important, yielding a high total of 75 percent saying same-ticket voting is important.

Upon further analysis of the votes, the results show that there is a significant number of voters who indeed chose a president and a vice president coming from the same political party or group, and it even closely resembles the percentage of core supporters of presidential and vice presidential candidates.

The December 2009 Standard Today Poll also looked into what voters perceive as the most effective means for candidates running in national elections of reaching and convincing them.

About half of the voters find news about candidates aired on TV as well as TV commercials and advertisements as the means to help them decide whom to vote for.

About a third are influenced by stories of personal visits in their place of residence.

Participation in debates as well as news narratives in newspapers are appreciated by 28 percent of the voters.

A fifth base their vote decisions on radio commercials and radio news on specific candidates.

Sample ballots, billboards, posters, and personalized letters are the preferences of about 11 percent of the voters.

Comics and leaflets or brochures are helpful to 9 percent of the voters. Personal text messages account for only 5 percent while only 3 percent prefer Web sites and podcasts. Optical media is the choice of only 2 percent of the voters. About 2 percent admit they could be swayed to vote for a candidate if someone paid them to do so.

The results of the Standard Today Poll and The Laylo Report may be accessed in the Web at https://mstpoll.wordpress.com. Questions, comments may be sent via e-mail at mstpoll@gmail.com.

Tables for 1st Laylo Report 12-09RP 122809

44% OF VOTERS ARE STILL UP FOR GRABS

December 16, 2009 Leave a comment

by Pedro “Junie” Laylo Jr.

THE November 2009 results of the first Manila Standard Today Poll show Benigno Aquino III as the primary choice of registered voters nationwide for the highest national elective post, and three weeks before the filing of certificates of candidacy with the Commission on Elections. Beyond the race, it is important to know the rationale behind the votes at this point, and that is what the initial Standard poll delved into.

Why were some candidates chosen or not chosen?

The reasons the voters gave as to why they prefer or not prefer certain candidates provide a glimpse into what drives the votes for president as of now.

Of the 42 percent who now prefer Aquino over four other candidates in a list, the main reason relates to his parents’ legacy. Even the impression of him not being corrupt is related to his familial connection with personalities in Philippine history: Ninoy and Cory, who are perceived as having an untainted image. Conversely, those who will not vote for him at all doubt his leadership credentials.

Of the 24 percent of the people polled who will vote for Senator Manuel Villar, his pro-poor image and advocacy of migrant workers are his major strengths. Of the rest who will not vote for him, a lack of awareness of him and his involvement in various controversies are seen as his weaknesses.

Of the 13 percent who will favor Senator Francis Escudero, their impression of him centers on his being smart and articulate and his principled stand on issues. On the other hand, those who will not favor him believe he is not yet ripe for the presidency.

Of the 13 percent who will vote for ousted President Joseph Estrada, his pro-poor image continues to persist. Alternatively, his criminal conviction for plunder is the major turn-off among those who will not vote for him.

The 4 percent who choose Teodoro recognize his potentials to be President. The rest who did not choose him generally were simply not aware of his personality, platform, and accomplishments.

The survey also asked voters what 10 characteristics they want presidential candidates to have, and the following came out as their top priorities: has compassion for the poor, is approachable, and can generate jobs or provide people a means of livelihood. The characteristic “comes from a good family” was also included in the list, but comes off as the least priority.

When probed further as to which of the potential candidates for President exemplify each of the favored characteristics, Villar is the candidate that voters say possesses the top three characteristics. They say Aquino best exemplifies the rest of the attributes, and understandably is the overwhelming choice as the one who comes from a good family background.

It is interesting to note that despite the impression that Villar seems to have the top characteristics that the public views as important for a candidate for President to have, Aquino still comes out as the most preferred candidate overall.

But how committed are the voters to their chosen candidates? Those who say they are predisposed to no longer changing their minds ranges from a low of 53 percent to a high of 62 percent across all candidates. The core supporters, when computed, are as follows: Aquino, 26 percent; Villar, 13 percent; Estrada, 8 percent; Escudero, 7 percent; and Teodoro, 2 percent.

The accumulated core support of the top five candidates at the moment is 56 percent, and this indicates that about 44 percent of all voters are still up for grabs. This slice includes those who say they have not yet fully made up their minds and are liable to change their choice, plus those who are still undecided whom to vote for president next year

The presidential candidates should find it crucial to know from which segments of the population the uncommitted voters come from, and to what extent they can still be persuaded by the values, platforms, arguments and issues they espouse. Parallel to that is the need to protect their supporters and expand this dedicated base as much as and as fast as they can.

The pre-election polls on the 2004 Presidential elections show that both De Castro and Raul Roco were way ahead of Gloria Arroyo from April to October 2003. In January 2004, De Castro agreed to run as vice president under the administration ticket, which led to Fernando Poe’s lead over Arroyo towards the middle of March 2004.

But by the end of March, with Poe reeling from the controversy surrounding his American citizenship, Arroyo had begun to take the lead, going to areas that had the biggest chance of voter conversion and armed with the right messaging. She maintained her lead from that time on and eventually won the Presidential election in May 2004.

With the elections still about six months away, the scores now presented may only be viewed as temporary and fluid. There is always room for improvement for both the leading candidates and the tail-enders, and it would be interesting to see what the trend will be in the coming months.

1st Laylo Report 11-09RP Tables