Duterte tops SWS poll
DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte topped a nationwide survey that Social Weather Stations (SWS) conducted in the last week of November, emerging as the No. 1 choice of voters not only from all socioeconomic classes but also from all geographic areas.
Nationwide, Duterte was the choice of 38 percent of voters, giving him a double-digit lead over Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay, who each got 21 percent. Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas received 15 percent and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago got 4 percent. Only 1 percent of the voters were undecided.
Among the upper and middle classes (ABC), the tough-talking Duterte got a commanding lead of 62 percent. In far second was Binay with 16 percent, followed by erstwhile front-runner Poe with 13 percent.
Roxas, the Aquino administration’s presidential candidate, got just 6 percent and Santiago, 1 percent.
SWS ran the survey on Nov. 26-28, or five to six days after Duterte finally declared his run for the presidency and two days before PDP-Laban proclaimed him its presidential candidate for the May 2016 general elections.
With 1,200 respondents, the survey, commissioned by a Davao-based businessman, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points at the national level and plus or minus 6 percentage points at the regional level. Each region had 300 respondents.
The respondents were asked in Filipino: “With Rodrigo Duterte on this list as a substitute candidate for President, who would you most likely vote for President if the elections were held today?”
In the nationwide survey conducted by SWS in September, Duterte placed fourth, the choice of only 11 percent of registered voters from a list of 12 names. The poll was topped by Poe, who obtained 26 percent followed by Binay with 24 percent and Roxas, 20 percent.
The mayor said he was astonished by the surge in his ratings.
“I am surprised and awed by the result, but I am thankful for accepting me with all my faults and some virtues. If elected I can assure you that I will be true to my oath of office and fulfill my promises. Thank you,” Duterte told the Inquirer in a telephone interview.
Asked how he intended to sustain his lead until Election Day, he said: “I will hide first because at this time I cannot go around the country because I still lack funds and I do not like asking for campaign funds.”
Duterte said his supporters, who had been with him every time he ran for a local office, might go bankrupt because of the huge campaign expenses involved in the presidential campaign.
“I do not like asking for campaign funds. My Davao supporters might go bankrupt if they will keep on supporting me because millions (of pesos) is needed for the national campaign,” he said.
Vice presidential race
In the race for the second highest elective post in the country, Sen. Francis Escudero, Poe’s running mate, was leading with 30 percent, followed by Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos with 24 percent.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte’s running mate, came in third, getting 21 percent. But in Mindanao, Cayetano was No. 1 with 34 percent, followed by Escudero, 26 percent, and Marcos, 15 percent.
Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, Roxas’ running mate, was fourth in the nationwide survey with 12 percent. She was followed by Sen. Gringo Honasan, Binay’s running mate, with 6 percent. In last place was Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who received just 5 percent.
Focus on issues
The camp of Roxas, the Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer, dismissed the results of the privately commissioned SWS survey.
“Let us not give credence to every survey that is being floated nowadays. Every day, there’s a new survey. Let us instead focus on the discussion of important issues like governance,” LP spokesperson Edgar Erice said.
Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson for the administration’s Team Daang Matuwid coalition, said he had not yet seen the survey, and thus, had “no idea when it was conducted, how many respondents were interviewed, and where it was done.”
“I will say though that nine months ago, [Roxas] was at 4 percent, and it is evident from all recent surveys, including this one, that his numbers have gone up significantly since then,” he said.
Gutierrez said he believed Roxas would continue to improve his numbers “as he continues to reach out to more Filipinos and to articulate his message of daang matuwid (straight path governance).”
Snapshots of sentiments
Poe’s spokesperson sounded unconcerned by the fall in the senator’s survey numbers, suggesting that there was plenty of time for the public pulse to change.
“Surveys are snapshots of sentiments of people in a given time frame. People’s sentiments change depending on what message they hear,” said Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian.
He said Poe’s campaign was determined to woo the public to her side by focusing on her message.
“Our resolve is to intensify and amplify the message of Senator Poe—her message of inclusive growth and good governance. We believe that giving focus to this will convert more people into supporting her,” Gatchalian said.
Santiago was not available for comment, according to her liaison officer.
Asked to comment about the results of the survey, Cayetano said: “Answered prayers. There can be miracles if you believed many believers of Duterte prayed for his candidacy.”
He said there was “a lot of work to be done, but we are not changing strategy, lots of communication to show his authenticity and his desire to transform the country and improve peace and order.”
Duterte and Cayetano are running on a platform of anticriminality, corruption, federalism and other hot-button issues, like the need to address contractualization.
Almost half of Metro
Among the regions, Duterte got close to half of Metro Manila (48 percent). A far second was Poe with 22 percent, followed by Binay, a former longtime mayor of Makati City, with 18 percent.
Roxas and Santiago garnered single-digit ratings in Metro Manila, with 7 percent and
3 percent, respectively.
In Mindanao, Duterte’s bailiwick, the mayor was the choice of 50 percent of the voters. Binay got 18 percent; Roxas, 16 percent; Poe, 13 percent; and Santiago, 2 percent.
In the Visayas, Duterte received 44 percent, more than double the 20 percent of Roxas, who has roots in Roxas City in Capiz province. Poe came in third with 16 percent, followed by Binay with 14 percent. Santiago, who comes from Iloilo province, was last with 5 percent.
Tie in rest of Luzon
In the rest of Luzon (Metro Manila excluded), Duterte, Binay and Poe were in a statistical tie with 26 percent, 27 percent and 28 percent, respectively, as the margin of error for the region was 6 percentage points.
Fourteen percent of the respondents said they would vote for Roxas and 5 percent for Santiago.
In Classes D and E, Duterte was clearly ahead with 37 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
Binay got 21 percent in Class D and 26 percent in Class E. Poe got 22 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Roxas obtained 15 percent in Class D and 17 percent in Class E. It was 4 percent and 5 percent, respectively, for Santiago.
SWS declined to comment on the veracity of the survey, a copy of which was obtained by the Inquirer. “We cannot comment on something that is not on our website and I have not seen,” Leo Laroza, director for survey data library at SWS, told the Inquirer by phone. With a report from DJ Yap
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