Will big crowds during Robredo campaign events translate into votes? – #BotongPinoy2022
Ever since the campaign period began, Vice President Leni Robredo has been able to draw huge crowds to her campaign events across the country including Naga City, Quezon City and Manila, Iloilo, and just today, in Cavite.
Robredo has solidified her second place ranking in presidential surveys in recent months, but she remains far behind frontrunner former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. Based on surveys released throughout February, Marcos has retained a lead over Robredo by anywhere between 30 to 40 points. With just two months left before election day, it will take a miracle for Robredo to pull off a win over Marcos again.
Robredo’s supporters remain defiant though, pointing to the tens of thousands of people who attend her campaign events as evidence that her poll numbers do not reflect real strength on the ground. Some even question the reliability of surveys – pointing out that very few people are actually surveyed (as it should be – TFS) while others float the possibility that polling firms release their results whenever Robredo gets positive news coverage because of the massive crowds in her sorties.
The same dynamic actually played out in the United States during its last two presidential election cycle. During the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Senator Bernie Sanders consistently had massive crowds during his campaign rallies but he was still handily defeated by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. During the 2022 presidential elections, former Vice President Joe Biden ousted incumbent Donald Trump despite the latter’s legendary ability to turnout his supporters.
There can be two schools of thought here. It is possible that Robredo’s base of support is simply very enthusiastic about her candidacy although this coalition is still not as big as that of Marcos. This view is supported by Robredo’s stagnant poll numbers which so far indicate her inability to go beyond 25%.
It is likewise possible that the huge crowd during Robredo events indicate a groundswell or a snowballing of support for her candidacy that is yet to be reflected in her poll numbers.