When poll re­sults dif­fer on Duterte

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - FRONT PAGE - By DJ Yap @dee­jayapINQ

With two sur­vey firms re­leas­ing com­pletely dif­fer­ent re­sults within days of each other, which should the pub­lic be­lieve? It de-

pends on who you ask.

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Vi­cente Sotto III ques­tioned on Fri­day the method­ol­ogy of So­cial Weather Sta­tions ( SWS) and sug­gested that Pulse Asia’s fig­ures were more re­li­able, af­ter the two firms sep­a­rately re­leased seem­ingly con­flict­ing sur­vey re­sults on Pres­i­dent Duterte’s pop­u­lar­ity.

On July 10, SWS re­leased sur­vey re­sults that showed Pres­i­dent Duterte’s net sat­is­fac­tion rat­ing dip­ping by 11 points to a record low, with 65 per­cent of Filipinos sat­is­fied with his per­for­mance, 20 per­cent dis­sat­is­fied and 15 un­de­cided.

SWS said Mr. Duterte’s net sat­is­fac­tion rat­ing stood at 45 per­cent, 11 points lower than his 56 per­cent net sat­is­fac­tion rat­ing in March.

On Fri­day, how­ever, Pulse Asia said the Pres­i­dent’s ap­proval and trust ratings climbed by eight and five points, re­spec­tively, with 88 per­cent ap­prov­ing his per­for­mance and 87 per­cent giv­ing him their trust.

Sotto said the prob­lem was in the way that SWS had his­tor­i­cally cal­cu­lated the net sat­is­fac­tion of Philip­pine lead­ers by sub­tract­ing the per­cent­age of the dis­sat­is­fied from that of the sat­is­fied.

“Why is it right mi­nus wrong? [ That’s] not right. In elec­tions, would you sub­tract the num­ber of those who voted from those who did not?” Sotto asked.

Davao rep­re­sents Min­danao?

Op­po­si­tion Sen. Antonio Tril­lanes IV said Pulse Asia’s sam­pling de­sign was “in er­ror,” as it had sur­veyed mostly re­spon­dents from the Pres­i­dent’s home­town of Davao City to rep­re­sent the en­tire Min­danao.

This was de­spite the fact that re­spon­dents from other re­gions “are clearly not as fa­nat­i­cal to, or fear­ful of, Duterte as the Davaoeños are,” Tril­lanes noted.

Sen. Pan­filo Lac­son had a sim­pler ex­pla­na­tion: The Pulse Asia sur­vey was taken be­fore Pres­i­dent Duterte’s com­ment about a “stupid God,” while the SWS sur­vey was taken af­ter his con­tro­ver­sial re­marks.

‘A good case study’

Lac­son cited the dates when the sur­veys were con­ducted, with the SWS sur­vey done from June 27-30, days af­ter Mr. Duterte’s mock­ing state­ments on June 22.

Pulse Asia did its sur­vey from June 15 to 21, a day be­fore the Pres­i­dent made the com­ments that riled not just Catholics but mem­bers of other Chris­tian de­nom­i­na­tions in the coun­try.

Lac­son added: “Be that as it may, it can­not be de­nied that ( Duterte) is a good case study on how a coun­try’s leader can main­tain high trust and ap­proval ratings in spite of the oft- re­peated use of crass lan­guage.”

“Sur­veys are all about per­cep­tion,” he added.

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