Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio kept their lead in the latest Pulse Asia survey on preferred presidential candidates after capturing “the imagination of a good percentage of our voters” in the February survey of Pulse Asia.
This is the “first time” that Pulse Asia has seen a “majority percentage selecting one candidate,” according to its executive director Ana Tabunda.
In the survey of 2,400 registered voters conducted Feb. 18 to 23, the 64-year-old Marcos got the vote of 60 percent of the adult respondents mostly from economic Class C, while Duterte-Carpio posted a 29-percent lead over Senate President Vicente Sotto, who had 24 percent.
“Obviously he has captured the imagination of a good percentage of our voters. Also he has more than adequate resources to sustain his presence in social media, his caravans, his campaign,” Tabunda told ANC’s Headstart.
“Plus, his name of course and the association with his father has definitely benefited him from that,” she added of the former senator.
Pulse Asia has never been wrong in predicting the next president, Tabunda said.
Marcos’ lead over other candidates was “more than double” President Rodrigo Duterte’s lead over Senator Grace Poe in 2016, according to Tabunda.
The highest that Duterte got in a Pulse Asia survey was 39.4 percent over Poe’s 21.8 percent in April 2016, she said.
Vice President Leni Robredo was backed by 15 percent of likely voters, placing second in the latest survey, followed by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso at 10 percent, and Senators Emmanuel Pacquiao and Panfilo Lacson at 8 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
But Lacson remains unbothered by the latest poll survey results showing him lagging behind other candidates.
“Surveys are not elections. Last time I heard, (the) election is on May 9. I’m not bothered at all simply because the numbers I feel on the ground are different from what the surveys indicate,” Lacson said in a statement Monday night.
However, Lacson said he was puzzled as to why his figures in surveys were still low despite performing well in the presidential forums and interviews. (See full story online at manilastandard.net)
According to Tabunda, the survey “captures” the so-called “Solid North” while Robredo got the majority of her likely voters in her home region Bicol.
Domagoso, at his best, captured the support of 20 percent of likely voters in Calabarzon and 22 percent in Mimaropa, Tabunda added.
“The increase of 2 percentage points over January is not significant so essentially he stayed at the same level. We don’t see an increasing trend,” she said.
The February survey is essentially “the same numbers we saw in January,” according to Tabunda.
“Statistically speaking if they are only 5 percentage points away from him…that would be easier to overtake him. It’s not impossible but the probability is not large. The probability of that happening is not large,” she said.
“If he drops 20 points the others will get those 20 points so they will have a better chance.”
Asked about criticisms against Pulse Asia, she said: “We’re aware of that. We sort of expect that reaction. We will just continue to
produce our results because we stand by our data and our methodology.”
The pollster was unable to sample classes A and B in the recent survey, Tabunda said.
“If we were able to sample some of them, they may have refused,” she said. “We do not intentionally exclude AB, we’re just unable to capture them.”
Class C is more dominant in class ABC, she added.
“There are about 10 percent of the voters in class ABC, and about 70 percent to 75 percent in about class D. In class E that would be 15-20
percent,” she said.
Meanwhile, a total nine party-lists have garnered 2 percent voter preference which would be enough to secure them at least one Congressional seat in the upcoming elections, the same Pulse Asia survey showed.
Based on Pulse Asia’s pre-election survey, 83 percent of their 2,400 adult respondents “expressed support” for a party-list group.
“The said level of support enables the following groups to surpass the 2.0 percent voter preference they need to secure at least one seat at the House of Representatives in the first round of seat allocation,” Pulse Asia said.
These are ACT-CIS, 8.02 percent; Ako Bicol, 5.97 percent; Senior Citizens Party-list, 5.61 percent; Malasakit@Bayanihan, 5.38 percent; 4Ps , 5.25 percent; An Waray , 2.92 percent; Uswag Ilonggo, 2.60 percent; Gabriela , 2.31 percent; and AGAP , 2.11 percent.
Pulse Asia said ACT-CIS, Ako Bicol, Senior Citizens, Malasakit@Bayahihan, and 4Ps might get 3 seats due to the support they garnered during the poll.
An Waray, Uswag Ilonggo, Gabriela, and AGAP, meanwhile, could get two seats.
A total 177 party-list groups are participating in the upcoming May elections.
The party-list system is meant to give a voice to marginalized sectors in the lower chamber, though it has faced criticism after recent elections saw party-list groups field members of political families as nominees.
Various groups and sectors have called on the Commission on Elections to review some party-list groups who supposedly do not serve the interests of the public and were just seeking a House seat for power.
Poll watchdog Kontra Daya recently reported that 7 out of 10 party-list groups have been hijacked by political clans, big businesses, and state interests.