Duterte on a roll; Poe trails
HE APPEARS to be on a roll.
Less than a month before the presidential election, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte came out on top in a nationwide survey for the second time in as many days, getting strong support from the upper and middle classes.
Duterte also fared strongly in Metro Manila and Mindanao, allowing him to overtake erstwhile front-runner Sen. Grace Poe, results of a Pulse Asia survey conducted from March 29 to April 3 showed.
In the vice presidential race, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has taken the solo lead while Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero were in a statistical tie in second place.
The survey found 30 percent of the 4,000 respondents (registered voters 18 years old and above and with biometrics), saying they would support the tough crime-fighting Duterte.
Duterte enjoyed a five-point lead over Poe, who got 25 percent.
Statistically tied in third place were Vice President Jejomar Binay, running under United Nationalist Alliance and Mar Roxas, the standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party, who got 20 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago received 2 percent.
Pulse Asia asked the respondents, “If the coming 2016 elections were held today, whom would you vote for as President of the Philippines?”
On Monday, a survey by Social Weather Stations showed Duterte on top with 27 percent of 1,500 respondents. Poe was in second place, losing four points to 23 percent.
About 54 million people in the country of a little more than 100 million are eligible to vote to choose a President, Vice President and more than 18,000 local government executives and lawmakers on May 9.
“I’m inclined to think this is going to be a close race. Duterte’s lead over the next candidate is still pretty manageable. Anything can still happen,” said Edmund Tayao, a political science professor at the University of Santo Tomas.
The survey, commissioned by ABS-CBN and the results of which were released Tuesday, had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.5 percentage points.
Tayao said how the candidates performed at the second presidential debate in Cebu City last month had an impact on the perception of voters.
Besides facts and figures, the candidates’ delivery of the message and their demeanor were also important, Tayao said.
Compared with the Pulse Asia survey on March 15-20, Duterte gained 6 points from 24 percent, while Poe and Binay dropped 3 points from 28 percent and 23 percent, respectively. The ratings of Roxas and Santiago were both unchanged.
“The debate gave an idea how the candidates perform or make decisions under pressure… During the debate, the Vice President and, to some extent, Poe showed some kind of irritation,” Tayao said.
In the case of Poe, the issue surrounding her citizenship lingers despite the Supreme Court ruling allowing to her to run.
“If she wins the elections, the legal issue will continue to hound her so this may have had an impact on the perception of voters,” Tayao said.
Regions, socioeconomic classes
More than half (55 percent) of respondents from Mindanao chose Duterte, who was also the top choice of those in Class ABC (41 percent) and Class D (31 percent).
Respondents from Luzon outside Metro Manila were most supportive of Poe (31 percent) while Roxas led in the Visayas (34 percent).
The respondents were also asked, “If your chosen candidate does not pursue his/her candidacy for whatever reason, whom among the remaining people would you vote for President of the Philippines if the 2016 elections were today?”
Poe emerged as the top second-choice of voters with a rating of 31 percent, followed by Binay with 19 percent, Duterte with 15 percent, Roxas with 13 percent and Santiago with 5 percent.
Seventeen percent of the respondents “don’t know,” refused to answer or have no alternate candidate.
Poe was also the second choice of 41 percent of Binay’s original voters, 41 percent of those who expressed support for Roxas and 35 percent of those who picked Santiago.
Among Poe’s original voters, 33 percent named Binay their alternative candidate.
Results of the survey also showed 28 percent saying they would vote for Marcos, a 6-point lead over Robredo and up three percentage points from the March 15-20 survey.
Robredo got 22 percent, up a point from the previous survey while Escudero scored 21 percent, down from 25 percent.
Marcos’ lead could be attributed to the media and public attention accorded to him, whether good or bad, as well as his advance and vigorous campaign, Tayao said.
Tayao noted Robredo’s steady rise, saying that if this continues, she could likely beat Marcos and Escudero.
“She doesn’t have the baggage and there’s still time to convince the public,” he said.
“Like the presidential race, the race for Vice President is also tight,” Tayao said.
Vice presidential aspirant Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano got 15 percent from 14 percent, while Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV obtained 5 percent from 4 percent and Sen. Gringo Honasan, 4 percent from 5 percent.
Marcos was the leading candidate in Metro Manila (47 percent), Class ABC (39 percent) and Class D (29 percent), while Robredo topped the Visayas (36 percent) and Cayetano was the most favored in Mindanao (30 percent).
In the rest of Luzon, Marcos and Escudero were statistically tied (34 percent and 25 percent, respectively) while those in Class E were most supportive of Robredo, Marcos and Escudero.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.