Photo courtesy of Rappler
Does survey trending exist in Philippine politics? Many think so. Surveys, or opinion polling, can serve to the advantage of the already famous candidates (see dominant ideology), though SWS said in earlier polls that surveys also serve to the advantage to the less popular candidates. Why do I say that? Whenever surveys are released, television and radio stations report it. It is also released in the Internet. Free publicity, 'ika nga nila. This is where people base the assumption that there really is survey trending, though of course, those surveyed by the SWS say otherwise.

Anyway, as the Young Filipino Historian, I will tackle the problem of survey trending historically. How correct are surveys and does it really affect how people actually vote?

In the 2004 Senatorial elections, Pulse Asia, in its latest poll before the elections, said that six KNP (Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino) and six K-4 (Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan) will win. SWS meanwhile said that four KNP and eight K-4 will win. The actual results brought five KNP and seven K-4 to the Senate. But, the margin for the twelfth seat (won by K-4) was only 0.03% ahead of the thirteenth (a KNP candidate).

In the 2007 Senatorial elections, Pulse Asia said that six GO (Genuine Opposition), four Team Unity and two Independents will win. SWS said the same. Seven GO, two Independents, and three Team Unity entered the Senate. Though of course, it is well known that Pimentel (GO) won the twelfth seat after the resignation of Zubiri (Team Unity) because the margin is only 0.1%.

Now, in the latest Pulse Asia and SWS surveys, they agree that three UNA and nine Team PNOY will enter Senate this midterm elections. However, I think that even one month is still to early to celebrate for those who entered the Magic 12 in the latest surveys. Example is Escudero who was second in the earlier surveys, but now he flopped to fifth. Another is Hagedorn, who was 23rd in the earlier surveys, but now rose to 19th.

Still, I believe in my heart that the Filipino has not and will never succumb to survey trending. Surveys are only random statistics. I think that these opinion polls do their job well, even though they are privately managed. Just remember, vote wisely. Discern the candidates wholeheartedly because surveys just reflect opinion, not fact. Thus, opinion polling. Also, the elected will serve for years, not months.

See the references by clicking here.