PRESIDENTIAL candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte retained his lead in the latest Pulse Asia Research Inc. survey with 35 percent of respondents saying they would vote for him if elections were held today.
Duterte was followed by Senator Grace Poe at 23 percent; administration standard bearer Manuel Roxas II with 17 percent; Vice President Jejomar Binay at 16 percent; and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago at 2 percent.
In the vice presidential race, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. retained his lead with 29 percent, followed by administration bet Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo with 24 percent, Senator Francis Escudero at 18 percent; Senator Alan Peter Cayetano at 16 percent, Senator Gregorio Honasan II at 4 percent, and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV at 3 percent.
The Pulse Asia findings were at odds with a Social Weather Stations survey that earlier showed Robredo ahead in the race, jumping from third to first place in the span of about two weeks.
The Pulse Asia survey was conducted from April 16 to 20, using face-to-face interviews with 1,800 registered voters. Nationwide figures have a ± 2.3 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level.
Subnational estimates for the geographic areas covered in the survey have the following error margins at 95 percent confidence level: ± 6.5 percent for Metro Manila, ± 3.5 percent for the rest of Luzon, ± 5.2 percent for Visayas and ± 4.7 percent for Mindanao.
Pulse Asia said, in keeping with their academic nature, no religious, political, economic, or partisan group influenced any of these processes.
Pulse Asia Research undertakes pre-election surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort, it said.
Across sub-groupings, Duterte lead in Metro Manila (40 percent), Mindanao (58 percent) and every socio-economic class (32 percent to 43 percent).
In the Visayas, he shared the lead with Roxas (32 percent and 27 percent, respectively).
In the rest of Luzon, three presidential candidates had practically the same voter preferences—Poe (28 percent), Binay (23 percent), and Duterte (22 percent).
If their first choice for president does not continue with his or her candidacy for whatever reason, 32 percent of the respondents said they would vote for Poe instead.
Binay, Duterte, and Roxas were the alternative presidential bet of about the same percentages of registered voters (16 percent, 14 percent, and 13 percent, respectively).
Santiago was the second choice for president of 6 percent of registered voters.
Except in Metro Manila, Poe was the most preferred second choice among voters in the rest of Luzon (32 percent), the Visayas (36 percent), Mindanao (34 percent), and all socio-economic classes (30 percent to 43 percent).
In the vice presidential race, Marcos was the top pick of registered voters in Metro Manila (39 percent) and Luzon (37 percent).
Robredo enjoyed the lead in the Visayas (33 percent) while Cayetano had the highest voter preference in Mindanao (34 percent).
Across socio-economic classes, Marcos and Robredo shared the lead in Class ABC (36 percent and 32 percent, respectively) and Class D (30 percent and 25 percent, respectively) while four candidates posted the same support levels in Class E—Cayetano (23 percent), Marcos (22 percent), Robredo (21 percent), and Escudero (18 percent).
A little over a quarter of Filipino registered voters (27 percent) named Escudero as their second choice for vice president if their original candidate for the post does not pursue his or her candidacy.
In the senatorial races, respondents named an average of eight names out of a possible 12.
Some 13 of the 50 senatorial candidates running in May 2016 have a statistical chance of winning, Pulse Asia said.
With less than a month to go before the May 2016 elections, registered voters were identifying a mean of eight and a median of eight candidates.
In the various survey sub-groupings, it was only in Metro Manila where more than half of the voters (58 percent) expressed support for a complete slate of 12 senatorial candidates.
With the exception of former Justice secretary Leila de Lima, the rest of the probable winners in the senatorial race are either current or former members of Congress.
Five of those are running under the banner of the Liberal Party (LP), four are independent candidates, two come from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), one belongs to the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), and another comes from Akbayan.
In the lead was Senator Vicente Sotto III (53.8 percent), who had a statistical ranking of 1st to 2nd.
Close behind him was Senate President Franklin Drilon (49.2 percent), ranked 1st to 3rd.
They were followed by three former members of the Senate—former senators Francis Pangilinan (46.4 percent, 2nd to 3rd places), Panfilo M. Lacson (39.1 percent, 4th to 9th places), and Juan Miguel Zubiri (39.0 percent, 4th to 9th places).
Completing the list of probable winners in the May 2016 senatorial elections are: 1) Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel Pacquiao (38.5 percent, 4th to 10th places); 2) Senator Sergio R. Osmeña III (37.9 percent, 4th to 12th places); 3) former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros (36.3 percent, 4th to 13th places); 4) Senator Ralph Recto (34.9 percent, 4th to 13th places); 5) former senator Richard Gordon (34.1 percent, 6th to 13th places); 6) Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin T. Gatchalian (33.8 percent, 7th to 13th places); (7) former Technical Education and Skills Development Administration director general Emmanuel Villanueva (33.7 percent, 7th to 13th places); and 8) Leila de Lima (32.3 percent, 8th to 13th places).
Marcos supporters welcomed the Pulse Asia survey even as they questioned the SWS findings.
Manny Fortes, national chairman of the FPJPM, said he saw no way that the administration candidate could jump six points ahead of Marcos for no apparent reason.
He added that the SWS survey was part of a scheme to condition people into believing that Robredo was a strong candidate so they could justify her victory in the polls through cheating.
The Roxas camp said they remain hopeful that their campaign could turn the tide in their favor.
“These past few days, ordinary Filipinos have come out for Mar and Leni and to stand up for the belief that together we can have a Philippines that is prosperous and inclusive, peaceful and decent, just and kind,” Roxas’ spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said in a statement.
“The numbers may look daunting, but we remain firm in our conviction that Mar and Leni will prevail... The tide has turned, these last two weeks will prove the difference,” he added.
President Aquino, like other candidates, said the most important survey will be held on Election Day.
Poe said the drop in her survey standing would make her campaign harder.
“This means I should not relax and campaign harder,” said Poe on the sidelines of her political rally at the Vigan City Convention Center.
Poe said she had always made herself believe she’s low in the surveys so she would not be complacent.
Marcos, noting the discrepancy between two recent surveys, said he would simply continue to work and campaign to bring his platform of government to the people.
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