Will PiliPinas Debates 2016 affect voters' preferences in the Presidential Elections?

The second presidential debate held at UP Cebu which aired on TV5 has just ended. It was like a free-for-all  several times during the debate, since  the candidates were sometimes talking at the same time. Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago was absent due to medical reasons.

As expected, the presidential candidates gave out rosy promises to their countrymen, extolled their own virtues, and criticized their co-candidates, when the opportunity presented itself.

Binay, Duterte, Poe & Roxas at the 2nd Presidential Debate (Image Credit: Chot Reyes)

As the country gets nearer to elections,  how much  do you think  will the debates affect the opinions of the voters?

Will voters have an open mind and really listen to what the candidates are saying or proposing? Or will they simply seek confirmation for their decision as to who they will vote for, this coming national elections?

The latest Social Weather Stations' (SWS) March 2016 survery results showed that Grace Poe leads the pack among the Presidential hopefuls with 27%, followed by Jojo Binay with 24%. Roxas comes in third with 22% , followed closely by Duterte at 21%. Miriam is the cellar dweller with 4% rating. Only 2% of the survey sample are undecided when the survey was conducted from March 4-7, 2016.

In the Vice-Presidential race, Chiz Escudero leads with 28%, followed by Bongbong Marcos 26%. Leni Robredo came in at third place with 24%. At the tail end is Antonio Trillanes IV  who got 6% and Gringo Honasan who had a rating of 5%. About 1% are undecided as to who they'll vote for as Vice-President.

With only two (2) per cent undecided plus a margin of error of say, three (3) percentage points, for a total of 5 per cent; the race is still on for the first four candidates for President and Vice-President.

There are 50 more days to go before the elections, another presidential debate on April 24,  and one vice-presidential debate on April 10 . Those survey or poll numbers are still expected to change. As to how much the debates will account for that change, we would probably never know for it will all  be a matter of conjecture.

Nevertheless, the PiliPinas Debates 2016 is a step in the right direction. The debates may not change voting preferences that much, but  these will enlighten the nation about the kind of administration we could expect from the candidates seeking the highest offices of the land.

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