LOVE him or hate him, the opinion polls, especially the most recent one by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), inarguably show that President Rodrigo Duterte is now the most popular president ever in our Republic’s history.
This conclusion was prodded by the December 2019 SWS poll, which found that 82 percent of Filipinos are satisfied with his performance, the highest ever rating for any president in the post-EDSA period.
His rating has risen from the 76 percent in the first SWS poll during his presidency in September 2016.
Of course we don’t have similar data about the popular support for pre-EDSA presidents, but it is safe to say that all these presidents — even the CIA-backed Ramon Magsaysay, whom the elites disdained — couldn’t have had such a phenomenal 82-percent satisfaction. I suspect though that support for the strongman Marcos in 1976, four years after he imposed martial law when the economy surged at an average of 7 percent, approached that of Duterte now.
Add the 10 percent “undecided” on his performance — which means they’ll likely go with the majority when push comes to shove — Duterte has the backing of 92 percent of the nation. This is nothing short of phenomenal.
One way of putting Duterte’s 82-percent satisfaction rating in context is to compare this to the SWS net satisfaction ratings of all presidents since Cory Aquino at similar periods of their presidency, at their midterm. (Net satisfaction is percent of those satisfied minus dissatisfied. However, this psychologically underestimates popular support. For instance, while 82 percent of those surveyed were satisfied with his performance, 10 percent were not, so his net rating is 72 percent. This, however, could be easily mistaken that only 72 percent are satisfied with him.) (more…)