Duterte, Poe tied in Pulse Asia poll
Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - March 22, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s rating continued to go up in the latest presidential survey conducted by Pulse Asia, putting him in a statistical tie with frontrunner Sen. Grace Poe.

The Pulse Asia’s nationwide survey, commissioned by ABS-CBN, was conducted from March 8 to 13 using face-to-face interviews of 4,000 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.

The Pulse Asia survey was the first poll taken after the Supreme Court upheld Poe’s candidacy for president on March 8.

Poe, an independent candidate, received 26 percent of the votes, while Duterte, standard bearer of PDP-Laban, got the nod of 25 percent of respondents.

Poe’s rating fell by two points from 28 percent in the March 1-6 ABS-CBN-commissioned survey of Pulse Asia.

Duterte, meanwhile, enjoyed a one-point improvement in his score from 24 percent.

Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) was the choice of 22 percent of respondents (up from 21 percent), followed by Liberal Party (LP) bet Mar Roxas with 20 percent (unchanged).

People’s Reform Party’s Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who has been missing the campaign trail owing to health concerns, received three percent (unchanged).

Poe dominated the survey in Luzon, garnering 34 percent, followed by Binay with 26 percent, Duterte with 16 percent and Roxas with 15 percent.

In the Visayas, Roxas led the presidential contenders with 36 percent, followed by Binay (21 percent), Poe (20 percent) and Duterte (18 percent).

Visayas is a known bailiwick of Roxas, whose family hails from Capiz.

Duterte was the runaway winner in Mindanao, getting the support of 46 percent. He was followed by Roxas with 20 percent, Poe 15 percent and Binay 14 percent.

Poe and Duterte are top candidates for voters belonging to class D with 26 percent and 25 percent, respectively, against Binay’s 21 percent and Roxas’ 20 percent.

Duterte, however, led in class ABC with 35 percent versus Poe’s 22 percent, Binay, 18 percent and Roxas, 17 percent.

Pulse Asia noted that Class E was almost evenly divided between the top four candidates.

Meanwhile, Poe also emerged as the “second choice” candidate should their first choice for whatever reason not pursue his or her candidacy.

Poe also appeared to be the top second choice among all candidates.

Binay and Roxas would get the bulk of those whose first choice is Poe (27 percent and 25 percent, respectively).

Poe would get 33 percent of those whose first choice was Duterte, with the next biggest chunk going to Binay (22 percent).

Poe would also get the lion’s share of those whose first choice is Binay (45 percent). She would also benefit the most from those whose first choice is Roxas and Santiago.

 Tight race

 The same survey showed that Sens. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Francis Escudero remained statistically tied for the top spot in the vice presidential race, getting 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

The rating of Escudero, the runningmate of Poe, went down by one point from 25 percent in the Mar 1-6 poll by Pulse Asia, commissioned by ABS-CBN.

LP vice presidential bet Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo obtained 20 percent, down from 21 percent.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, runningmate of Duterte, got 13 percent (from 14 percent), followed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, whose score stayed at six percent. The score of UNA’s bet Sen. Gregorio Honasan remained flat at five percent.

Marcos and Escudero were also tied at the top spot in the March 1-6 ABS-CBN pre-electoral national survey also by Pulse Asia which had 2,600 respondents.

In the latest survey, Marcos and Escudero dominated the race in the National Capital Region, receiving 35 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

Marcos and Escudero are also the top candidates in balance Luzon with 29 percent and 28 percent, respectively.

Robredo was the runaway winner in the Visayas with 34 percent, while no one had a clear lead in Mindanao.

Marcos took Class ABC, obtaining 31 percent. He and Escudero were statistically tied among Class D – 27 percent versus 25 percent.

Like in the presidential survey, respondents were also asked to pick a second choice in case their first choice couldn’t continue running for vice president.

Thirty percent of Marcos’ voters would pick Escudero if the former is out of the game.

A total of 34 percent of Robredo’s supporters will vote for Escudero if she is out of the game.

Escudero would benefit the most if Cayetano and Trillanes would not pursue their candidacy.

Marcos, meanwhile, would get the votes if Honasan drops out of the race, Pulse Asia said.

Core group intact

The camp of Binay remains unfazed by the results of the latest Pulse Asia poll showing him in third place behind Poe and Duterte.

“The presidential race continues to be tight. If you look at the margin of error, they are all statistical tied,” Binay’s campaign spokesman Rico Quicho said yesterday.

Quicho maintained the Vice President still has the support from his “core groups.”

“The challenge is how we can cover more areas and explain the Vice President’s platforms and programs,” he said.

Message of unity

In a statement, Marcos said the latest survey inspires him to work even harder in the campaign. 

“We are happy that our message of unity resonates and is being accepted by the people. I think we are moving toward the right direction. We remain focused on the campaign and we will continue to work harder to get our message across to more people,” he said.

‘Past mistakes not recognized’

Robredo, for her part, said she is worried about Marcos’ strong performance in the latest Pulse Asia survey because it reflects lack of recognition of the mistakes of the past.

“I am worried. I really have fears. I am not afraid because it is Sen. Marcos. I am afraid because there is no recognition of the mistakes of the past. If there is no such recognition, there is a big chance that they will be repeated,” she said.

Robredo said she is not condemning Marcos even as she noted that there have been calls for him to acknowledge the wrongdoings during martial law.  

UP’s choice: Miriam, Leni

In a related development, Santiago and Robredo topped the mock polls participated in by over 11,000 students in three campuses of the University of the Philippines (UP).

Spearheaded by the Alpha Sigma fraternity, the mock polls held in UP Diliman, Manila and Los Baños from Feb. 24 to March 11 showed Santiago and Robredo winning by a huge margin over their respective opponents.

Out of the 11,755 students who took part in the polls, 6,606 or 56.2 percent said they would vote for Santiago.

She was followed by Duterte with 2,356 votes, Poe with 1,273, Roxas with 641 and Binay with 288.

A total of 591 students did not choose any of the candidates for president. – With Aurea Calica, Perseus Echeminada, Janvic Mateo, Rainier Allan Ronda, Alexis Romero

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