50% prefer Noynoy in vote-rich Luzon areas: SWS survey

By Ricky Carandang, ANC and Isagani de Castro Jr., abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak

Posted at Sep 13 2009 04:19 PM | Updated as of Sep 14 2009 12:27 AM

MANILA - One out of every two voters in vote-rich areas of Luzon would have chosen Sen. Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III if presidential elections were held in early September 2009, according to a Special Survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) obtained by ANC and abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak.

Aquino was preferred by 50% of 1,200 respondents from a pre-selected list of five names that also included erstwhile survey leaders Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr., former President Joseph Estrada, Senator Francis 'Chiz' Escudero, and Vice-President Noli de Castro.

Villar, Estrada, and Escudero were statistically tied with 14%, 13%, and 12%, respectively. De Castro was preferred by 7% of respondents.

The survey was commissioned by a number of private individuals including some members of the business community.

The survey was conducted September 5 to 6 in the National Capital Region (NCR), Pangasinan province, Region 3 (Central Luzon), and Region 4-A (portions of Southern Tagalog).

This two-day period was after presidential aspirant Sen. Manuel 'Mar' Roxas II withdrew from the race in favor of Aquino, his Liberal Party colleague, and just days before Aquino announced he would run for the presidency. Roxas backed out on September 1 while Aquino announced his bid on September 9.

The survey has a margin of error of plus/minus 3%.

Although not a nationwide survey, the results give a good gauge of the competitiveness of the son of the late former President Corazon Aquino vis-a-vis the early birds in the presidential race.

Lingayen-Lucena corridor

Political tacticians refer to the vote-rich corridor from Lingayen in Pangasinan province to Lucena in Quezon province as a good indicator of a candidate's chances. These are mainly urban areas where television and radio play a big role in influencing the choices of voters.

The special survey also asked respondents to choose their preferences from different lists of names.

From a list of four names--Aquino, Villar, Estrada, de Castro--meaning without Escudero, Aquino got an even higher voter preference in the vote-rich areas of Luzon:

De Castro--8%.
Don't know--1%

From a list of only three names--Aquino, Villar, de Castro--or without Escudero and Estrada, the results were:

De Castro--9%.
Estrada--2% (volunteered Estrada's name even if it was not on the list)
Don't know--1%

Aquino-Roxas tandem top pick

In terms of which tandem was most preferred by respondents in the vote-rich areas of Luzon, Aquino-Mar Roxas got 51% voter preference based on a pre-selected list of five combinations:

Estrada-Loren Legarda--12%
Villar-Kiko Pangilinan--11%
Escudero-Jejomar Binay--9%
De Castro-Ronnie Puno--4%.

Based on a pre-selected list of these four tandems, the results were:

De Castro-Puno--5%

Based on a pre-selected list of these four tandems, the results were:

De Castro-Puno--6%

Based a pre-selected list of these four tandems, the results were:

De Castro-Puno--5%

Long way to go

However, a lot of factors can still affect the results of future surveys, including political advertisements, endorsements, campaign funding, debates, and candidates backing out. The elections are still eight months away.

The September 5 to 6 survey was when there was heavy media coverage about Roxas' withdrawal and Aquino's period of discernment on whether to run.

It remains to be seen whether Aquino, and an Aquino-Roxas tandem, will be able to keep this apparently commanding lead in the vote-rich areas of Luzon.