DESPITE two decisions disqualifying her from the 2016 presidential polls, Senator Grace Poe posted a slim lead over other candidates as the race for the highest post in the land became tighter, the latest The Standard Poll showed.
The survey, conducted by resident pollster Junie Laylo from Dec. 4 to 12, had 1,500 respondents—all of whom are registered voters with biometrics and who said they are sure to vote in next year’s elections—from 76 provinces across the country and the 17 cities in the National Capital Region.
The survey period covered the decisions of the First and Second divisions of the Commission on Elections disqualifying Poe from the 2016 presidential race over issues on her citizenship and residency as well as the controversial issues that hounded Mayor Rodrigo Duterte— from cursing Pope Francis to openly admitting having killed at least three criminals in Davao City.
Poe enjoyed a narrow lead with 28 percent of the respondents saying they will vote for her if the elections were held today.
Vice President Jejomar Binay placed second with 23 percent, followed by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II with 22 percent, Duterte with 19 percent, and Santiago with 3 percent.
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percent.
When asked for the top reasons for their choice, respondents who said they will vote for Poe said they want to try her style of governance (31 percent) and they have not heard of any corruption issue against her (23 percent). Those who said they will not vote for her cited her inexperience (26 percent), unproven competence (17 percent) and the citizenship issue (21 percent).
The top reasons of those who will vote for Binay are as follows: he can replicate across the country what he has accomplished in Makati (23 percent), he has helped senior citizens (16 percent) and provided free education (14 percent). Those who will not vote for Binay cited corruption issues leveled against him (27 percent) and his involvement in anomalous transactions (27 percent).
At least 52 percent of respondents who will vote for Roxas said they will do so because he will continue the programs of President Benigno Aquino III. Ironically, 40 percent of respondents who will not vote for Roxas said they do not like him because he does not have his own mind and is only a lackey of the President.
Duterte supporters said they will vote for the mayor because he has addressed criminality (24 percent), he is a disciplinarian (21 percent), and he has stamped out illegal drugs in Davao City (13 percent). Those who said they will not vote for him cited his iron-fist style of governance (35 percent). At least 28 percent also said they do not know the presidential aspirant from Mindanao.
Those voting for Santiago said they will support her because she is courageous (37 percent) and she is not afraid to express her own opinion (24 percent). Those who will not vote for the senator cited questions about her health (23 percent).
Poe has a core voter base—or those who are definite they will no longer change their preference—of 16.8 percent. The core voter base for Binay was 14.26 percent; for Roxas, 13.42 percent; for Duterte, 11.97 percent, and for Santiago, 1.08 percent.
If Poe does not run, Binay’s rating will go up 10 points to 33 percent, Roxas’ will go up seven points to 29 percent, Duterte’s will increase by seven points to 29 percent, and Santiago’s will go up by six points to 9 percent.
If Duterte does not run, Poe’s rating will increase 10 points to 38 percent, Binay’s will go up seven points to 30 percent, Roxas’ will improve by one point to 23 percent, while Santiago’s will increase by three points to 6 percent.
Across geographic areas, Poe posted a wide lead in the National Capital Region at 32 percent followed by Duterte at 27 percent, and in Southern Luzon/Bicol region at 35 percent followed by Binay at 23 percent.
It was, however, a tight race between Poe and Binay for Northern and Central Luzon at 35 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
Roxas led the Visayas region at 32 percent followed by Poe at 24 percent, while Duterte was the frontrunner in Mindanao at 36 percent followed by Poe at 20 percent.
Poe, however, led in both urban and rural areas at 29 percent and 28 percent, respectively.
A plurality of voters belonging to the economic class ABC said they will vote for Duterte (32 percent) while respondents belonging to the DE class said they will go for Poe at 28 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
A plurality of female voters (31 percent) as well as those belonging to the 18-34 age group (36 percent) said they will vote for Poe.
Male voters and those belonging to the 35-55 and 56 and above age groups were statistically equally divided among Poe, Binay, Roxas and Duterte.
Across religious affiliations, a plurality of respondents who are Catholics (29 percent), Born Again (43 percent) and Muslims (33 percent) said they will vote for Poe, while those who belong to the Iglesia ni Cristo were statistically split between Binay at 22 percent and Duterte at 23 percent.
By ethnicity, a plurality of Cebuanos (30 percent) and Ilonggos (41 percent) said they will vote for Roxas; Bicolanos (34 percent) and Warays (42 percent) said they will vote for Binay; while Tagalogs (39 percent) and those belonging to Muslim groups (40 percent) said they will vote for Poe. Ilocanos were split between Poe and Binay at 32 percent each.
Poe was the top choice of respondents who own a cell phone (29 percent), have Internet access (29 percent) and have social media access (31 percent).
Respondents related to an overseas Filipino worker were statistically split between Poe and Binay, who used to serve as presidential adviser for OFW affairs, at 28 percent and 27 percent, respectively, while a plurality of those related to a government employee said they will vote for Poe at 25 percent.
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