Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero and Senator Joel Villanueva continued to hold sway at the latest polling of potential senatorial bets for the 2022 general elections.
Though losing as much as 9 points from the previous survey in December last year, Escudero remained at the head of the pack with 64.6% in the polling done by WR Numero Research, a technology-driven polling and data analytics firm.
Villanueva, who is up for reelection, remained in the second spot with 56.6% in the same survey, which was conducted on Jan. 11 to 16.
The strong showings of Escudero, a two-term senator, and Villanueva, a technocrat who propelled TESDA and the tech-voc sector to greater heights, indicate the importance of empowering political bailiwicks and spreading the success to the other parts of the country, analysts said.
In the case of Escudero, his performance as Sorsogon governor was put to the test in the pandemic, which he continues to be successful, and this is coupled with the fact that he positively benefits from the star power he draws from his celebrity wife, actress Heart Evangelista.
On the other hand, Villanueva has been all business in his first term in the Upper Chamber, passing significant pieces of legislation to advance his advocacies on labor and education. Popularly endeared to the people as “TESDAMAN,” Villanueva is among the lawmakers in the Senate who has an unblemished attendance record at the plenary.
Both politicians remained mum about their political plans, with Villanueva pointing out that he was preoccupied with ensuring commitments of the national government to provide access to vaccines to essential workers in the inoculation program.
Following Villanueva in the survey are reelectionists Senators Sherwin Gatchalian (55.4%) and Juan Miguel Zubiri (55.1%).
Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez (50.6%) remained in the 5th spot, followed by former Speaker and Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (6th, 49.3%), Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto (7th, 47.8%), Dr. Willie Ong (8th, 45.9%), Senator Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel (9th, 44.8%), Antique Rep. Loren Legarda (10th, 43.0%), Anak-Kalusugan party list Rep. Michael Defensor (11th, 42.7%), and Deputy Speaker and Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza (12th, 40.0%).
Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla and Senator Richard Gordon are tied for 13th with 36.1%, while Senator Francis Pangilinan slipped to the 15th spot with 36.0%
Administration officials perceived to take a crack at the Senate’s Magic 12 remained nowhere near the last spot with Public Works Sec. Mark Villar landing 16th-best in the survey with 34.9%.
In its poll handout, WR Numero Research said its regular survey was being conducted to “identify the public’s preferred senators in the coming 2022 Philippine national elections among the 35 potential candidates.”
The firm “collects data through a mobile-app based survey that uses a river sampling technique, which is defined as a web-based, opt-in sampling approach to create a sample of respondents for a single survey or a panel for repeated surveys over time.”
The mobile app-based survey now has nearly 400,000 in unique user base, according to WR Numero Research, where a quota sampling method based on geographic location, age, sex, and income is used to attain a proportional representation of the voting public for the Jan. 2021 senatorial preference poll.
WR Numero Research uses technology and data analytics to gauge social climate and provide actionable insights into political and social sentiments, attitudes, and political opinion.
The firm is led by Dr. Robin Michael Garcia, an assistant professor at the School of Law and Governance at the University of Asia and Pacific. He took up his doctorate in Politics and International Relations at Fudan University in Shanghai. The company’s head of data and technology is Leo Lope Lofranco, a research fellow at Harvard, and an Erasmus Mundus scholar at the University of Genoa.
Dr. Ador Torneo, the company’s chief advising social scientist, is a full professor and the director of De La Salle University’s Institute of Governance. He took up his doctorate in public administration at Konkuk University in Seoul.