MANILA, Philippines - If the May 10 senatorial elections were held today, re-electionist senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada and Miriam Defensor-Santiago would top the race, results of the latest Pulse Asia survey revealed Tuesday.
The survey, conducted last February 21-25, showed Revilla getting 53.6% of votes, which translates to a statistical ranking of 1st to 3rd place. He is in a statistical tie with Estrada, who got 52.6% of the votes in the survey.
Defensor-Santiago could also top the Senate race with 49.4%, which places her at ranks 1st to 5th.
Fourth on the list is another re-electionist senator, Sen. Pilar Juliana "Pia" S. Cayetano (45.4%), who is ranked 3rd to 6th. She shares the same statistical ranking as former Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, with 45%.
Incumbent Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, meanwhile, has a statistical ranking of 4th to 6th with 43.8%.
Former senator Vicente "Tito" C. Sotto III, meanwhile, remained in the winners' circle with 33.2%, for a statistical ranking of 7th to 9th. He is followed by former senator and former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ralph G. Recto at 33.1%.
Former senator Sergio "Serge" Osmeña III (29.1%), Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (28.2%), re-electionist Sen. Manuel "Lito" Lapid (25.8%), Bukidnon Rep. Teofisto "TG" Guingona III (24.3%), businessman Jose "Joey" De Venecia III (23.5%) and Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano Rufino "Ruffy" Biazon (22.7%) complete the list of likely senatorial winners.
Pulse Asia said former senators Sotto, Recto and Osmeña and Rep. Marcos would have joined the winning circle of 12 senators if the elections were held at the time of the survey. Their poorest possible showing, statistically speaking, is 9th place for the first two former senators, 11th for former Sen. Osmeña and 12th for Rep. Marcos.
On the other hand, the senatorial bids of Sen. Lapid, Rep. Guingona, Mr. de Venecia and Rep. Biazon are more vulnerable as they could land outside of the winning circle, their worst statistical ranking being in the range of 14th to 16th.
The survey showed that at least 8.3% of registered voters do not express electoral support for any senatorial candidate, refuse to name their senatorial preferences or have yet to decide on the candidates they will vote for.
Meanwhile, registered voters are naming a mean of seven and a median of eight (out of a maximum of 12) senatorial candidates.
Among the probable winners, Defensor-Santiago registered the biggest improvement in voter support (+8.2 percentage points) during the approximately one-month period between the January and February 2010 surveys. Other candidates registering significant improvements in voter preferences are independent candidate Atty. Gwendolyn "Gwen" D. Pimentel (+11.4 percentage points), former Cavite Rep. Gilbert Cesar "Gilbert" C. Remulla (+10.5 percentage points) and Akbayan party-list Rep. Ana Theresia "Risa Hontiveros" H. Hontiveros-Baraquel (+5.8 percentage points).
The only candidate posting a significant decline in voter support is Atty. Alexander "Pinoy" L. Lacson (-10.9 percentage points).
The survey was conducted from February 21 to 25, 2010 using face-to-face interviews of 1,800 representative adults 18 years old and above. Pulse Asia's nationwide survey has a +/- 2% error margin at the 95% confidence level.