What should have been an increase in Grace Poe’s survey ratings was seen in Rodrigo Duterte’s, Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Tabunda observed.

The latest Pulse Asia survey commissioned by ABS-CBN Corporation covered the time period after the Supreme Court ruled that Poe was eligible to run for president.

READ: Duterte catches up, ties Poe for lead: ABS-CBN survey

Many were expecting Poe's ratings to surge, effectively breaking the previous statistical tie between her and Vice-President Jejomar Binay. However, it was Duterte who gained traction, bringing him to a tie with Poe for the top spot.

“We’re not seeing what we had been expecting because the people are also watching Mayor Duterte, VP Binay, and of course Sec. Mar Roxas,” Tabunda said on ANC Tuesday.

Election lawyer George Garcia had said that Supreme Court's “game-changing” decision will increase Poe's ratings by up to 10 percent.

Tabunda also noted that Poe’s rivals continue to keep the doubt in place for the senator’s presidential bid.


In the survey, Duterte gained the most across the ABC brackets, the population most concerned about criminality. She also attributed the gain to a group of people possibly preferring a male president.

For Roxas, though the movements were minimal, she said they are going to have to check the impact of the second debate because it could be like Duterte’s, whose ratings improved.

Should Miriam Defensor-Santiago drop from the race, the second-choice presidential preference survey rating showed that Poe can gain one percent and Duterte 0.75 percent.

These marginal movements in the ratings are substantial as “each percentage point really makes a difference in a tight race” according to Tabunda. She also urged the candidates to continue looking for opportunities to gain some more lead over the others.

Although two percent of the surveyed population remained undecided on who to vote for, Tabunda believes they won’t make or break the election results. Rather, it will be the voter turn-out that will cast a challenge.

“We don’t really get the all 54 million voters trooping—we got 75% turn-out rate in 2010. It’s a question of ‘do the supporters of a particular candidate tend to just sit back, lay back and watch from the internet, for example, instead of trooping to the poll centers come election day?’. That’s what’s gonna matter more," Tabunda added.

Additionally, she observed that the public still expects the poll to take place on May 9.

The next survey will be conducted after the Holy Week and is expected to reflect the decisions made by respondents after the second presidential debate.