The latest SWS survey results of January 21-24, 2010 are in. In it, Noynoy Aquino still maintains his lead over Manny Villar with 42% of the votes against Villar’s 35%. However, this is already 2% less than his 44% in the December 27-28, 2009 SWS survey.
Villar, meanwhile, improved from his 33% standing. However, this is a smaller gain than his 6% gain from the previous 3-week period in December 2009. Villar got around 1% of his gain from Noynoy, the other 1% from Erap Estrada (who dipped from 15% to 13%). At this rate, it is a fifty-fifty chance if he can catch up with Noynoy by election time.
It is definitely going to be a tough time ahead for both. Manny villar will have to do more to maintain his momentum while Noynoy Aquino will have to fight tooth and nail to preserve or even expand his lead. The fight will become more interesting as both go into the formal campaign period.
Manny Villar will have a harder time because of his second-place position and the absence of undecided votes. He has to chip away at the votes of other candidates and his one major objective is to either cannibalize Erap’s votes or get the latter to stand aside and endorse him.
Noynoy Aquino worry is the vulnerability of his poorer constituency to the anti-poverty song of Villar’s ads and his own ineffectiveness to offer his alternatives (so far). The mantra against corruption and for honest government can only bring his campaign so far.
Of course, the SWS survey does not yet cover the period of the Senate Committee of the Whole recommendation on the C5 extension case in which Villar is implicated. It definitely would impact on the campaign, but this cdannot be measured at this time.
The other candidates are slowly losing their grip on the electorate and will have to confront the reality of their losing bids. This would also impact on the future of the Noynoy Aquino-Manny Villar one-on-one contest.