SWS survey elates Grace Poe, Leni Robredo
TWO WOMEN—Sen. Grace Poe and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo—have a reason to be elated as results of a nationwide survey conducted in the first week of Women’s Month showed their ratings going up in the presidential and vice presidential races, respectively.
Poe took the lead in the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on March 4-7, with 27 percent of the voters preferring her over four other presidential candidates, up 3 percentage points from February.
The survey, which covered 1,800 validated voters, was conducted just before the Supreme Court released a ruling on March 8.
The ruling said Poe was a natural-born citizen and had complied with the 10-year residency requirement, clearing her way to run in the presidential race.
Robredo was the biggest gainer among the vice presidential candidates, rising from 19 percent in February to 24 percent this month.
She gained ground on Sen. Francis Escudero who got 28 percent, and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. with 26 percent.
Given the margin of error of plus-or-minus 2 percentage points, Robredo, Escudero and Marcos were “not significantly distant from each other,” said Leo Laroza, SWS director for survey data library.
Poe said she was praying that her ratings in surveys would still improve after the high court ruling.
“I am thankful to the people [for the SWS results],” she told reporters on the sidelines of a campaign sortie in Sta. Barbara town, Iloilo province.
Among presidential hopefuls, Vice President Jejomar Binay was the biggest loser. His rating fell 5 points to 24 percent, placing him in second place.
Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas garnered 22 percent, up from 18 percent from the previous polling period.
Given a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2 percentage points, Roxas was in a statistical tie for second place with Binay and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who got 21 percent, down from 24 percent.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s rating was unchanged at 4 percent.
Binay on Monday said the survey served as a wake-up call for him to do better in his campaign.
“For whatever it may be [worth], the survey is a wake-up call for me,” he said at a press conference after having lunch in a bakeshop in the City of San Fernando in La Union province.
Binay said he was not bothered by the drop in his ratings because of the warm reception from people during his campaign sorties.
He noted that his survey ratings in 2010 meant nothing in the election results because he still came out as a surprise winner in the vice presidential race.
Roxas said he was pleased by the marked improvement in his and his running mate’s survey numbers even as he stressed that surveys were not in any way conclusive.
“This is not like a basketball game in which you gain points over your rival one day, and then they gain points the next,” he told reporters after a meeting with bangus (milkfish) vendors at a market in Dagupan City.
“Like I always say, ‘The most important survey is the one in May.’ I have faith that in the end, the deserving one will prevail, the righteous one will prevail, the honest one will prevail,” Roxas said.
Duterte’s camp expressed disbelief over the latest SWS survey results showing Duterte sliding down to fourth place.
“There is a growing suspicion that the results are being manipulated, similar to what we have seen in the manipulation of online polling immediately after the debates,” said Duterte’s spokesperson, Peter Laviña.
Laviña added, “For many of our supporters, the survey results are simply unbelievable.”
But Duterte told reporters in Tacloban City that he was not bothered by the survey results.
“It’s good,” he said. “At the end of the day, I will be your last card.”
He said his campaign would not be shaped by surveys. “Let the campaign remain that way,” he said. “Let the people decide.”
Bohol Mayor Leoncio Evasco Jr., Duterte’s national campaign manager, said the reception of the public on the ground for Duterte was encouraging.
“We take survey results seriously and we have seen several, including mock polls and social media trending, reinforcing the observation that Duterte is gaining more believers, adherents and converts,” Evasco said.
In the vice presidential race, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano’s rating fell from 16 percent in February to 11 percent in March.
The ratings of Sen. Gringo Honasan and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV barely changed. Trillanes had 6 percent from 5 percent, while Honasan had 5 percent from 6 percent.
In a statement, Robredo said the latest survey was a welcome development as the campaign entered its final eight weeks.
“This piece of good news is the result of the sacrifices of our supporters, families and friends who have tirelessly spent their time and sweat in going around different parts of the Philippines,” she said.
Robredo said her impressive numbers had reinvigorated and inspired her to double her efforts to bring awareness about her advocacies, plans and programs down to the countryside.
“Expect that we will continue working and intensifying our efforts in campaigning around the country in the last eight weeks,” she said.
He may have been statistically tied with Robredo, but Marcos said he was “moving in the right direction.”
“But we don’t rely so much on surveys. We continue to work hard and remain focused on the campaign,” Marcos said in a statement.
“We see that people accept our message of unity and we will continue to spread that message until the real survey, which is the election on May 9,” he said.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., said the latest SWS survey showed the team of Roxas and Robredo was in striking distance to a win.
“Both are the biggest gainers compared to their rivals whose figures continue to drop in recent surveys,” said Belmonte, who was at a gathering of officials and candidates of Negros Occidental province to show support for Roxas and Robredo.
Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of the LP-led Daang Matuwid coalition, said the results of the survey showed the “vindication” of the “slow and steady” approach in the campaign for the May 9 general elections.
“We’re pleased, of course, not because [Roxas and Robredo] both ranked third, but that they [scored] the biggest increase in this survey,” Gutierrez said. With reports from Niña P. Calleja, Jeannette I. Andrade and Marlon Ramos; Ana Roa, Inquirer Research; and Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Inquirer.net
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