The most recent Social Weather Stations surveys done at the end of September 2018 see a rise in President Rody Duterte`s net trust and satisfaction ratings, rising to very good.
This generally comes in sync with a similar poll taken by the same survey firm in the same period showing that 3 in 4 Filipinos believe the general directionnof the country is the right one.
On the other hand, however, Vice President Leni Robredo`s trust and satisfaction ratings fail to improve, even drop by two points despite her efforts to make public statements on a wide range of issues.
Over all, this shows that despite all the intrigue and brickbats thrown at the administration over the last two and half years, this established political camp retains the trust and satisfaction of majority of pinoys.
These poll numbers are really bad for the opposition in its desire to win in the election. Winning the polls is vital to their survival. After June 2016 their ranks have largely been decimated with defections to the Duterte camp.
Thisnis because wo things matter to the electorate: a capability to deliver on promises and an image of winnability.
The latter in particular matters to a big number of the electorate, especially in the swing regions of Regions 3 and 4, where big bulk of voters reside, and where voters tend to swing to the perceived victors in the last two weeks of the campaign.
The opposition suffers from the scars of past government failures and do not bear this winning image. Whats worse, negative campaigning against a popular president has only shot themselves in the foot.
Let me elaborate.
The main problem i see with the opposition is that they are perceived to talk a lot yet have little to show for their performance as the previous government.
This is made worse when we hear of scandals involving them, like the faulty MRT Trains, Yolanda funds misuse, the Dengvaxia and DAP scandals, and the mishandling of the Mamaspano Massacre of the SAF 44. All this flies in the face of the "decency" they preach. To most people, they look and sound like hypocrites.
As the Duterte years rolled in, they seemed fixated on challenging his popular war on drugs, leaving themselves unable to make their voice heard on dozens of new programs that the Duterte administration rolled out like Build Build Build, free state college education, the Bangsamoro Basic Law, 10 year passport validity, among many others others. They probably hoped to turn the tables against the President by swinging his popularity towards them by this time, but his continued popularity remains is clear: the strategy did not work.
Well, how can you oppose good programs anyway? That`s political suicide. Their political options are now limited, in the same way they are forced to field children of former senators in their slate, and people known to the intelligentsia and culturati, but with no clear bailiwicks, and who still need to be introduced to a cynical public that is not likely to listen to a political group like theirs who failed them.
In the end, the opposition is left in a bind. They have no choice but to play to their decreased crowd by focusing on negative campaigning against the President. Whatever political points they may add to this may make them look credible to their friends, but will not win elections.