Pinoys Look at P-Noy’s Porsche and Are Dissatisfied?

Malacanang occupants should remember the voting percentages for P-Noy in the May 2010 elections (see Table 1 below).  Maybe for 12-18 months these would be the core BSA3 support for key contentious issues.  These would be the groups which will give him the benefit of the doubt and take his side for some time.

Table 1. VOTE FOR PRESIDENT, BY CLASS (%)

TOTAL RP

ABC

D

E

AQUINO BENIGNO SIMEON III C. ‘NOYNOY’

44

48

44

36

Estrada Ejercito, Joseph M. ‘Erap’

25

19

27

32

Villar, Manuel Jr. B. ‘Manny’

13

11

14

16

Teodoro Gilberto Jr. C. ‘Gibo’

11

14

8

9

Villanueva Eduardo C. ‘Bro. Eddie’

3

4

3

3

Gordon Richard J. ‘Dick’

2

2

1

2

Acosta Vetellano S. ‘Dodong’

1

1

1

1

Madrigal Jamby A. S. ‘Jamby’

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

De Los Reyes John Carlos G. ‘Jc’

0.2

0.3

0.1

0.1

Perlas Jesus Nicanor P. ‘Nick’

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

Can’t Answer/Refused

1

1

1

1

Source: SWS May 2010 Elections Exit Poll

48 percent of ABC voters chose Aquino; D voters, 44 percent, and E voters, 36 percent.

Porsche Issue

I had written Mahar Mangahas on the Porsche issue and how this was picked by media to bear down on the decline of P-Noy’s satisfaction ratings.  The text of my letter is as follows:

———————————————————————–

Hi Mahar.

P-Noy’s ratings fell significantly for a new President, if we are to compare him with the others starting with his mother’s term.

Probably there are many other reasons but the SWS press release seems to attribute this solely to his Porsche purchase.

The statement posed to respondents was for me not neutrally phrased (kind of leading), a la Serge Osmena’s style of phrasing for his messaging strategy:

‘Pres. Aquino’s purchase of an expensive car such as a Porsche, even if through his own money, is not a good example for a President of a country like the Philippines.’

I would think that it would be difficult to disagree with such statement.

It is interesting that 1 out of  5, specifically the D and E classes, was undecided, did not want to take a position, or unsure of what the question/statement meant or wanted to elicit.

My opinion.  Please correct me if I am wrong, subject to availability of your time.

——————————————————————————

Mahar replied back:

——————————————————————————

Dear Butch,

…..
We put the Porsche item in the press release since it’s the only other survey item directly about PNoy that is open to report; we just didn’t want to devote a separate press release to the Porsche matter alone.  We could not have selected the Porsche item as “the cause” of anything, since there was nothing else to select.

Since all “agree-disagree” statements are vulnerable to affirmation bias, a question designer has to consciously choose what position is to be affirmed.  It is our practice to choose the “common sense” or orthodox position, which in this case is that buying such an expensive car does not set a good example.

Suppose we had used the reverse statement that “there is nothing wrong with PNoy’s buying the Porsche since anyway it’s his own money”?  To have done it that (unorthodox) way would have risked criticism for being too soft on PNoy, rather than neutral.

—————————————————————————

I defer to the long experience of SWS on these surveys, including how it designs questions,

But let us focus on the message, not the messenger.

Net Ratings

A positive net rating indicates that the respondents agree that it is not a good example that P-Noy has set by buying a Porsche, even with his own money.

A negative net rating could mean that it is a good example?  Perhaps it would be more appropriate to interpret this in the way that Malacanang does.  That this is a personal matter.  That the President is entitled to some leisure time and can use his free time to unwind in the way he wants to, like driving fast cars or practice shooting at the range.  That he did not use government funds. I wonder if this would be akin to playing golf by FVR and GMA.

But it is only in the ABC class where we observe this negative rating (-2).  The D (+17) and E (+15) respondents have positive net ratings.  Has the message from Malacanang only catered or made sense to the ABC class?  Note that the D and E classes have little access to leisure time, access and opportunity.

According to the Family Income and Expenditures Survey of the National Statistics Office, Filipino families in 2009 spent a measly 0.4 percent of their income for recreation.  Also, the average income of the top 1 percent of the income distribution was less than Php 1.9 million.

So it is still somewhat positive that a third of the D (33 percent) and E (31 percent) took the side of Malacanang, as did 48 percent of class ABC.

Going back to P-Noy’s voters last May 2011, it is interesting that 48 percent of class ABC supported him.  This is the same percentage that sided with him in the Porsche issue; there is only a small percentage (6) that was undecided.  Of course it would be too presumptuous to think that the same 48 percent who voted for him are the same 48 percent who sided with him here.  But the conclusion is that this core among the ABC has not been eroded, nor added to.

This is not the case with voter percentages for the D and E classes versus those favorable to the ‘Porsche’ issue. For D, it is 44 vs. 33; and for E, 36 vs.31.  Note also the significant percentages of the undecided, 18 percent for D and 24 percent for E.  Malacanang should sharpen its focus of their messaging to the D and E groups, especially the ‘undecideds’, to keep at least his voters loyal to him.

This is of course a conservative way of targeting their constituency, at least in this Porsche issue or anything related to this genre.  Otherwise it would be the sentiments of Juana Change that would offer the more compelling argument/s, as it seemed.

Well, back to the title, I am unsure if the correlation between the purchase of the Porsche and the decline in P-Noy’s ratings is significant.  As Mahar had written and let me reiterate, ‘We put the Porsche item in the press release since it’s the only other survey item directly about PNoy that is open to report; we just didn’t want to devote a separate press release to the Porsche matter alone.  We could not have selected the Porsche item as “the cause” of anything, since there was nothing else to select’.

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Filed under exit polls, market research/opinion surveys, Philippines, statistics

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