Escudero, Marcos lead VP race; Robredo closing in
Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. remained tied at first place in the vice presidential preference polls, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey.
Escudero and the son and namesake of the late dictator were both favored by 25 percent of 4,000 respondents nationwide in the March 15 to 20 preelection voter preference poll.
Coming in at third place was the ruling Liberal Party’s Leni Robredo (21 percent), followed by Senators Alan Peter Cayetano (14 percent), Gringo Honasan (5 percent) and Antonio Trillanes IV (4 percent).
The poll, the results of which were released yesterday, was commissioned by ABS-CBN and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.5 percentage points.
Last week, the results of a Pulse Asia survey also commissioned by ABS-CBN showed Marcos and Escudero statistically tied at first place with 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively. They were followed by Robredo with 20 percent, Cayetano with 13 percent, Honasan with 5 percent and Trillanes with 6 percent.
Edmund Tayao, a political science professor at University of Santo Tomas, said the negative campaign against the martial law regime of Marcos’ father may have stirred discussion more than discredited the Marcos name.
“Instead of [looking back to] the past, they are looking at the person on whether he is qualified or not,” Tayao said.
Marcos, as the chair of the Senate committee on local government, has been actively going around the country, making it an opportunity “to reintroduce himself and reintroduce a new Marcos in the national scene,” he said.
“Escudero is relying more on the media and may have thought it was enough to sustain his lead,” Tayao said.
On the continued rise of Robredo in the opinion polls, Tayao described her as having the same advantage as Sen. Grace Poe in the presidential race.
“[Robredo’s] name represents something new, something fresh, and not faced with significant baggage. It’s just a question of getting her more popular and introducing her as a candidate to more people,” Tayao said.
Robredo, a Camarines Sur congresswoman and the widow of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, said she was extremely gratified by the decreasing gap between her and the survey leaders Marcos and Escudero.
“I am highly pleased that I need to gain only four points to catch up with them,” Robredo said in a statement.
“When I started in October, I was at 1 percent. Senator Escudero was at 44 percent, and we were separated by a gap of 43 points, thus it seemed impossible I could get close,” she said.
“But now, 40 days before the elections, I need only four more points, which is why we are inspired and hopeful that the results will be great,” Robredo said.
Marcos yesterday said he is so confident of his chances of victory that he no longer closely monitors preelection surveys.
“Chances are good, otherwise I would not be here,” he said while campaigning for the second day running in Bulacan on Friday.
He said he could not comment on the latest Pulse Asia survey as he has not looked at it.
“I don’t know. At this stage I do not look at the surveys anymore. I just go on,” Marcos said.
Escudero said he was glad the voters were staying with him, “despite the fact that we’re running an election campaign with limited resources as opposed to the campaign war chest of my rivals.”
In a statement, he also said he continues to get endorsements from political figures and local leaders.
He claimed to have obtained the endorsement of former Cebu Gov. Lito Osmeña, former Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, the eldest son of presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte.
Escudero and Poe are running as independents, but have since secured the backing of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
The latest Pulse Asia poll also found that Escudero was the top alternative bet of 26 percent of voters if their first choice did not pursue his or her vice presidential candidacy.
Virtually tied at second place in terms of second-choice voter preference are Marcos (16 percent) and Cayetano (15 percent), followed by Robredo (12 percent).
Trillanes and Honasan both obtained 6-percent second-choice voter preference while 19 percent did not have any favored alternative candidate for the post.
By geographic location, Marcos had a clear lead in Metro Manila against his rivals with 41 percent, while he and Escudero were statistically tied for the top choice in the rest of Luzon (32 percent and 29 percent, respectively).
Robredo was the top pick for Vice President in the Visayas (34 percent), the bailiwick of her running mate and LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas, while Cayetano is the most preferred candidate in Mindanao (28 percent), the stronghold of his running mate, Duterte.
By classes, Marcos and Escudero were both favored among Classes ABC (35 percent and 23 percent, respectively) and D (27 percent and 25 percent, respectively) while Escudero and Robredo were virtually tied among Class E (25 percent and 23 percent, respectively). With reports from DJ Yap, Dona Z. Pazzibugan and Leila Salaverria