With a fairly secure lead in the voter preference surveys going into the final week of campaigning, Bongbong Marcos continues his political momentum. It is generally believed Marcos has won the endorsements of both the Iglesia ni Cristo and the El Shaddai sects. Both are expected to add over a million votes to his base.
In addition, the Bongbong Marcos campaign continues to tally endorsements from local executives especially from the Visayas and Mindanao. This should help improve his share of the vote in the two regions. Part of the reason he reaps endorsements at the local level is the broad acceptability of the candidate and the heads-up style of campaigning he has run. Alhtough targeted by black propagandists from other camps, Marcos has refused to bring down his campaign to that level.
Bongbong’s remarkable campaign strategy is now reinforced by two de facto alliances with major presidential contenders. From the onset of the campaign, a large network of professionals formed the AlDuB (Alyansang Duterte at Bongbong). The campaign efforts of the AlDuB helped project the Duterte bid in the NCR as well as Central and Northern Luzon. In turn, it helped propel Bongbong to his dominant position in the NCR.
Lately, a new network called Bi-Bo (for Binay-Bongbong) has made its presence felt in many parts of Luzon. Vice-president Binay, as we know, has a largely token running mate in the person of Gregorio Honasan. Marcos is officially in tandem with Miriam Santiago, who is saddled with ill health. Miriam’s candidacy is likewise nearly a token one.
The de facto alliance with Binay will create a new synergy between the two candidates. It helps Binay consolidate his northern Luzon position. On the other hand, it allows Bongbong to benefit from the extensive ground network of the Binay campaign.
The closest challenge to Bongbong’s poll position comes from LP candidate Leni Robredo. The newbie politician from Naga City energized her campaign since her strategists decided to create some space between her and the weak candidacy of Mar Roxas. Robredo is likely to be the main beneficiary of the anti-Bongbong campaign spearheaded by Noynoy Aquino. The last voter preference surveys show her campaign gaining some momentum in the late stages.
There might, however, be no time left for Leni’s momentum to actually translate into an edge over Bongbong Marcos. The lady from Naga has no other message apart from her relentless anti-Marcos diatribes. Most of the time, she merely echoes the campaign pitches of Mar Roxas, preaching continuity at a time our voters are looking for change. The slight momentum she has shown in the last few surveys will likely be negated by the deluge of endorsements for Bongbong Marcos coming from organized blocs and religious groups.