Professors from the UST Department of Political Science said Filipinos should gauge the competence of bets in the 2022 elections through their credentials, not their performance in surveys.

Asst. Prof. Dennis Coronacion, chair of the UST Political Science Department, said surveys should not be the only basis for whom to vote for.

“Surveys are not 100-percent accurate. They were created by mathematicians and social scientists in order for us to measure, to get some degree of certainty in the world of uncertainty,” he told the Varsitarian.

Coronacion said the downside of surveys was that they could trigger “herd instinct” especially among undecided voters.

“Some [voters] would think na, ‘Natatalo na manok ko, so gusto ko ‘yung sure winner, so lilipat na ko. Ayoko sayangin ‘yung boto ko, so lilipat na ko sa top contender.’ ‘Yun ‘yung ‘di magandang aspect ng surveys,” Coronacion said.

Asst. Prof. Ronald Castillo said that while election surveys offered a snapshot of the electorate’s choice, voters should personally scrutinize the track records of candidates before arriving at a decision, in accordance with the principles of reason and truth of St. Thomas Aquinas.

“[Surveys] may tell people na magaling si ganyan, people support him. And when people think that way, they find reasons to give their support also,” Castillo said.

“Voters should not be looking at survey results. Voters should be looking at the credentials of candidates. Who should be looking at survey results? Politicians,” he added.

Coronacion stressed that a “conscience vote” was needed in 2022.

“Filipinos shouldn’t base their selection of candidates on surveys. It should be based on their conscience on who they think deserves to be voted or to occupy these public offices. ‘Yan ang primary basis,” he said.

“[Polls] are meant to know kung ano na ang status ng iyong sinusuportahang candidate. But regardless kung ano ang outcome ng survey, you should follow your heart,” Coronacion added.

Castillo said voters should not “base their choices on somebody else’s truth.”

“If we based our votes on what the polls say, then we didn’t use our own intellect given to us by God. As Thomasians, we have to ensure that when we vote, we live up to the principle of reason and truth,” he added. 

Marishelle Medina, a journalism professor, said that while survey results were important in generating opinion, they should not be taken at face value.

“When they see that a candidate is ahead in the polls, they need to question the numbers: How did the pollster arrive at this number? Who did the survey? When did they do the survey? Who is the pollster to begin with?” Medina said.

“It’s not so much the number but the candidate itself: Who is this candidate? What is his history? Where did he come from? What has he done? What can he do? Statistics is just a single indicator…you can’t put all your faith in numbers,” she added.

The campaign period for national positions in the 2022 elections will begin on Feb. 8 until May 7, 2022, while those vying for local positions may campaign from March 25 to May 7, 2022.

Election Day is on May 9, 2022.


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