Presidential race far from over, says analyst


MANILA - The latest Pulse Asia survey commissioned by ABS-CBN shows Grace Poe taking solo lead but a political analyst said the presidential race is far from over.

READ: Poe regains solo lead in ABS-CBN Pulse Asia survey

Prof. Edmund Tayao of University of Sto. Tomas said that while Poe has broken her statistical tie with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the senator "could still be neck-and-neck" with the mayor.

He added not all hope is lost for fellow presidential candidates Jejomar Binay and Mar Roxas.

“The fact that the top position is still up for grabs, it means that Vice President Binay and Secretary Mar can still do something about their numbers so as to catch up,” he said.

He added that both have to make a better defense in the coming weeks—Roxas on the administration’s performance and Binay on graft and corruption allegations against him.

Pulse Asia conducted the survey between March 15 and 20, after the second presidential debate. It also came on the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing Poe to run in the May 9 elections.

Tayao said the candidates’ positions on more specific topics—like China and the West Philippine Sea, tax restructuring, and the Yolanda aftermath—probably affected their numbers.

"As we get near Election Day, there are new issues that keep coming up and that honestly, if we are going to compare this election to the previous election, there’s really not one candidate that has clear advantage over the others,” he observed.

He added that voters have become more discerning and sophisticated in choosing the next leader of the country, and are continuously searching for one decisive reason to support a candidate.

"Any voter, businessman or otherwise, would not be considering to vote only on the basis of one’s knowledge or confidence or one’s track record," he said.