FIRING LINE: Why campaign like crazy?

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Thirteen days to go before Election Day and people’s nerves are on edge. There’s no denying that the survey frontrunner is Bongbong Marcos and that trailing him at No. 2 is Vice President Leni Robredo.

 Do you believe in surveys? I do and I subscribe to the science behind it.

But even with the indisputable numbers before me, there are two other things I believe in more. First, the actual election is a different story from opinion polls on so many levels; and second, a come-from-behind victory by Robredo is not statistically impossible.

I might be guessing, but based on how BBM has been striking the whip on his campaign, he, too, believes that the Vice President may be well within striking distance. Why else would he be trying so hard from the break of dawn till near midnight on the campaign trail if he believed the actual election numbers would have him winning by 28 or even 32 percentage points ahead of Leni?

Of course, I don’t expect him or anyone in his UniTeam camp to admit it. They’ve been floating in their social media balloons for far too long to even tell between reality and alternative truth. But in their guts, I imagine they feel like 56 percent (is it?) in the surveys might not be enough to win the election.

That, my friends, is my pretext for saying that the Marcos team might be a little scared of his lady tormentor in the 2016 race for VP. Surely, they are allied with Duterte’s ruling party – a faction of the true PDP-Laban founded by the late Nene Pimentel – yet I heard Bongbong calling on his supporters last weekend to be vigilant for he may be “cheated.”

Wouldn’t it be bizarre that in his Oxford-educated mind, BBM entertains the idea that an election managed by a Comelec comprising of his former lawyer and exclusive appointees of his running mate’s all-powerful father could or would allow him to be cheated?

Unless, of course, his fear is a deep-seated admission no one else is allowed to hear that once before, he was truly beaten by Leni. The funny thing is, the whole nation knows he lost. We’ve been living with it for the last six years! And by contesting the election results of 2016, it took the Supreme Court – convened as the electoral tribunal – to recount and point that out to his face.

For one, former Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon is confident this election won’t be a Cheatgate. She puts a lot of trust in the automated election system (AES) provided by Smartmatic, and for good reason. I mean, have you ever heard of “flying voters” in the last automated polls? If you had, they were likely caught because the computerized system detects them and deters attempts ever being made by cheats.

I hope the Comelec manages to keep the scales of this election even. For I foresee a good fight for the presidency – one that no pollster has yet truly determined.

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