UniTeam and the Leni-Kiko campaigns: Polls vs. Optics

Since candidates for the Presidential positions declared in late 2021, practically all scientific polls clearly indicate the huge gap between frontrunner Bongbong Marcos and Vice President Leni Robredo. Given the 2016 VP numbers for both candidates showing Robredo narrowly defeating Marcos, one would expect the polls for the 2022 Presidential race to reflect the same neck and neck competition.

In the early campaign period, even prior to its official start, the Marcos camp showed huge and unprecedented crowds that participated in its caravans and rallies.

Then all of a sudden, just weeks till election day on May 9, 2022, the Leni-Kiko campaign started boasting of huge crowds at their concert rallies. They came up with bloated numbers, and spread what many people thought were photoshopped, or carefully cropped crowd pictures of a “sea of pink.” From all indications, the biased mainstream news media were in cahoots with the campaign to paint a favorable narrative.

But at the end of the day, what matters in this election are the real numbers — polls which could very well translate into actual votes on election day — and not the optics, nay propaganda, that obviously characterize the desperate moves of the Robredo-Pangilinan camp.

It makes us wonder who is funding this expensive, last-minute attempt to try to reverse, or at least narrow the gap in, Marcos’ impressive lead, despite reports of the Leni-Kiko campaign running out of money.

While these efforts by the Leni camp may not suffice to actually overtake Marcos’ lead, the optics and propaganda that aim to portray that Robredo is ”catching up” could serve one thing and one thing only: it would constitute an ”ammunition” for Robredo to question what would be a Marcos landslide victory.

It would be a repeat of the 2016 Robredo-Marcos electoral protest — only in a much bigger scale, except that, absent any cheating involving Comelec-Smartmatic, it would be an exercise in futility.

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