Pulse Asia poll: Duterte now a serious contender

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2015 03:56 PM | Updated as of Sep 29 2015 07:14 PM

Pulse Asia's Tabunda says Duterte has a chance

MANILA - Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has not yet made a final decision on his plans for higher office in the 2016 elections but based on the latest Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan survey from September 8 to 14, he is already the 4th serious contender in the fight for the presidency.

The September survey comes on the heels of the ABS-CBN commissioned Pulse Asia survey from late August to early September and the last Social Weather Stations survey.

With a bigger sample size of 2,400 and a more precise error margin of plus or minus 2%, the poll showed Poe is still ahead at 26%.

The gap between Poe and her runners-up is beyond the error margin. There is now a three-way fight for the number 2 slot with administration standard bearer Mar Roxas at 20%, Vice President Jejomar Binay at 19% and Duterte at 16%.

Regionally, Poe takes balance of Luzon at 31%, Roxas takes Visayas at 34% while Duterte takes Mindanao at 29%. The National Capital Region is divided almost equally between Poe (26%) Binay (22%) and Duterte (21%).

By social class, Poe and Roxas have the same ratings in ABC (22%) while Duterte is close behind at 20% and Binay at 17%. The survey also showed Poe getting bigger support among Class D and E voters.

The survey showed Poe getting 26% support from Class D and 25% support from Class E voters.

She got 22% support from Class ABC voters, similar to the numbers that Roxas got.

Roxas and Binay both got 19% and 20% support from Class D and E voters, respectively.

Duterte got 20% support from Class ABC, 16% from Class D and 12% from Class E.


Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Tabunda noted that this survey, which is the last to be taken before aspirants file their certificates of candidacy for the 2016 elections, shows Duterte still has a chance.

"You know what's new here? (Davao City Mayor Rodrigo) Duterte has a chance. He is in a three-way tie with Binay and Roxas for number 2. The pressure on him will be so much. Kawawa siya. This might not be what he wanted,'' Tabunda said.

READ: Duterte seeks time for 'final soul-searching'

While Tabunda doesn't think Duterte has momentum yet, she noted that the smaller margin of error and Duterte's improvement in NCR, where he polls 21% and even better than Roxas.

Duterte was in Metro Manila last month.

''He came over. Duterte is now to be considered a serious contender, a really close fight in a possible four-way fight,'' Tabunda said.

Tabunda couldn't say yet who gained from whom because other names in the poll shed some points.

"Hindi natin masasabi kung kanino nagbabaan na voter preference ng iba. Eight points ang nabawas, sa iba nakakuha ng konti si Mayor Duterte. Si Sec. Mar malaki nakakuha, nag-increase from June survey, na-double niya dati voter preference between 2 surveys."

Tabunda said Roxas didn't just benefit from President Aquino's endorsement as he's also developed his own constituency.

''The fact na sa Visayas malaki ang increase dahil taga doon siya, nangangahulugan na may sarili siyang hatak," Tabunda said of Roxas, who hails from Capiz.

Tabunda also shrugged off Poe's decline though she thinks it may have come from Poe's statements in support of the Iglesia Ni Cristo.

''Mababa lang naman, nasa margin of error pa. Mahirap masabing 95% sure na mababa, 3 points lang. Maaari kasing may epekto yung kaniyang INC statement. Pwede rin na sa panahong ito, hindi pa siya nag-aanunsiyo, di namin nahuli iyon."

Poe announced a day after the survey ended, Tabunda noted.


Binay's decline is likewise better than expected despite the corruption allegations against him.

''Again, kung kumpara mo sa 22 points nung June hindi signifcant ang baba niyan pero sa dami ng issues at alegasyon na binabato sa kaniya, maganda pa yung numero na iyan, mahirap magkaroon ng ganiyang kataas sa dami ng binabati."

Tabunda said based on this survey, the momentum going up could be on Roxas side.

"Hindi ko alam kung tamang sabihin yun. Malinaw, malaki inakyat ni Sec. Roxas. Mukhang nagkakaroon ng increase kahit maliit pa. Si Mayor Duterte mataas taas siya sa NCR, dati single digit siya."

Momentum downwards is on Binay's side.

"Si Vice President Binay ang talaga malaki na ang nababa ng voter preference sa dami ng issues na binabato sa kaniya," she said.

Tabunda said the choice of a running mate may or may not be a sign of weakness but she reminds the public the election is still months away.

Poe's 26% now is lower than her 27% in the ABS-CBN-Pulse Asia survey in August-September, her 30% in June, but higher than her 14% in March.

Roxas' 20% now is above his 18% in the ABS-CBN-Pulse Asia survey in August-September, twice his 10% in June and 5 times his 4% in March.

Binay's 19% now is lower than his 21% in the ABS-CBN-Pulse Asia survey in August-September, lower than his 22% in June and 10 points lower than his 29% in March.

Duterte's 16% now is roughly the same as his 15% in June and in the ABS-CBN-Pulse Asia survey in August-September and slightly above his 12% in March.

READ: Bizmen pledge P1B to Duterte candidacy


Political scientist Aries Arugay, meanwhile, thinks the closeness of the scores shows the people still haven't made up their minds.

"Hindi magkakalayo ang numero. Marami pang espasyo para sa pagpapalit ng deisyon sa pagboto. Hindi pa alam ang issues na lalabas sa kampaniya," he said.

Among the issues that remain unresolved are Poe's qualifications and the choices of Binay and Roxas of their running mates, he said.

Arugay pointed out the survey is not just useful in gauging the public's views but also in helping people decide which candidates should get funding as well as volunteer support.

"Signaling yung suporta, lalo na sa kampaniya, alam natin sa eleksyon importante pera," he said.

"Napatunayan na ang role ng survey sa pag-convice ng campaign funding volunteerism, actual voter turnout. Kung close ang eleksyon, baka mas maraming maengganiyong bumoto, magbigay ng pera, marami maengganiyo tumulong."

At this point, Arugay noted nobody really has an edge.

"We don't see an absolute edge in the latest survey. Walang nakakalamang kung titignan natin ang margin of error. May nagsasabi statistical ties, masyadong malapit to make a decisive conclusion…At least, sinasabi na sino likely tatakbo at para kung ako botante mas lumiliit pagpipilian ko.''

Arugay also offered an explanation as to why Duterte fared better than Roxas in NCR.

"Kahit siya ay Davao mayor, malakas ang reputasyon sa pagiging maayos na mamumuno. Tingin ko medyo merong gaps in performance yung 2 opisyales. Nakikita ng botante mas talamak problema sa urban cities. May command responsibility si Sec. Roxas bilang (dating) DILG secretary."

WATCH: Duterte supporters gather at Quirino Grandstand

Arugay also has an explanation why Binay has declined.

"Alam natin na si Binay nasa ilalim sa imbestigasyon ng Senado mag-iisang taon na. Kahit araw araw iniimbestigahan, di ganun kaliit pagbaba, di ganun kadrastic ang pag-iwan. May solid na constituency si Binay na di nagbabago isip."

Arugay also thinks Poe took a hit from her position on the Iglesia Ni Cristo rally. However it's not enough for Roxas to overcome her even with Aquino's endorsement, he said.

Arugay believes Binay and Roxas' numbers may still grow more than Poe's.

"Tingin ko may room for growth. Mahirap magkaroon ng room for growth si Sen. Poe. If Roxas and Binay will do their campaigns, well may room for growth. Si Mayor Duterte kailangan muna magdeklara," he said.


Poe thanked her supporters as she continued to top the surveys.

''I thank the Filipino people for their confidence. It is from them that I draw my strength. More than just a measure of popularity, this is a reminder that we should always focus on performance and genuine service,'' she said.

''It shows that we have to start going around the country and convey to our countrymen what we stand for and our platform of government. Perhaps, it also makes a difference that the survey was taken prior to my announcement."

Binay's spokesman, Rico Quicho, said the vice-president's camp is surprised with his steady ratings despite not coming up with TV ads during the survey period. He added Binay's core supporters remain.

''The Vice President will continue to talk directly with the people and work doubly hard to inform them of his track record of helping the poor and programs to bring more employment, quality education, accessible healthcare and reduction of poverty,'' he said.

The latest Pulse Asia Survey was taken after Binay and Roxas declared their plans, after Aquino endorsed Roxas, and before Poe declared her plans.

The other key events which occurred immediately prior to and during the conduct of the interviews for this survey are the filing of a quo warranto case that seeks to disqualify Poe from the Senate, Duterte announced he was not running for President, Comelec's decision to lease new optical mark reader machines, the rally staged by Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) members along EDSA, the filing of charges by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against a third batch of former and current lawmakers in connection with the alleged misuse of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the signing by 17 senators of the report on the substitute Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), President Aquino’s remarks made during a media forum as regards an “alternative truth” concerning the Mamasapano encounter, the SC’s 8-4 decision allowing Senator Enrile to post bail, Malacañang’s opposition to a bill filed in the House of Representatives seeking to reduce the taxes, and the President’s directive to the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) for it to take over the management of traffic along EDSA.


Over at the vice-presidential race, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano fared better than Camarines Sur. Rep. Leni Robredo in the survey, survey for the vice-presidency, which sees Poe and her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, on top in a statistical tie.

Poe and Escudero had 24% and 23%, respectively. They were followed by Senator Bongbong Marcos, Binay's rumored running mate, at a distant 13%.

Cayetano followed with 9%. This is thrice Robredo's 3%.

Cayetano is followed by President Aquino, Batagas Governor Vilma Santos, Panfilo Lacson, Senator Antonio Trillanes, Jinggoy Estrada, Robredo, Francis Pangilinan, and Kim Henares.

Robredo posted single-digit ratings in all areas and social classes, polling zero in Mindanao.

Tabunda explained this poll was taken before Poe declared her plans to seek the presidency but even then many people were already eyeing Poe for president.

"Nung panahon na ito hindi pa malinaw kung sino tatakbo pero medyo malinaw-linaw na si Sen. Escudero, malamang,'' she said.

Over at the senatorial race, old names composed of re-electionists and former senators and those related to former and incumbent senators dominated the magic circle.

"Pamilyar eh, kilala nila siyempre iboboto mo yung may alam ka,'' Tabunda said.

Filipinos are now naming an average of 10 of their preferred candidates for the Senate in the elections and most of them already have a complete senatorial slate (64%).

Of the 50 individuals included in the senatorial electoral survey, 14 have a statistical chance of winning, with Senator Vicente Sotto III landing in solo 1st place at 63.6%.

Tabunda explained that they have a larger sample size now because some of their subscribers submitted their questions late.

''...importanteng malaman ang kasagutan sa mga gusto nilang itanong, hinati namin questionnaire. Para hindi mapagod si respondent, nag 2 sample size kami, parehong random and representative population ang dalawang survey,'' she said.

Tabunda appealed to the public to keep an open mind still.

"Pwedeng nakapili na sila. Sana they keep an open mind muna kasi malayo pa ang eleksyon. Marami pa tayong hindi alam tungkol sa mga kandidato."