Duterte woos more believers in NCR, Class ABC: survey

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Rodrigo Duterte, the frontrunner in the presidential race, is gaining even more supporters less than a month before the May 9 elections.

The latest ABS-CBN survey conducted by Pulse Asia showed the Davao City mayor gaining even more support from Metro Manila and Class ABC voters while consolidating his lead in Mindanao.

The survey, conducted last April 12 to 17, showed Duterte widening his lead over Senator Grace Poe, his closest rival, to 12 points.

Duterte boosts lead in new ABS-CBN survey

According to Pulse Asia president Ronnie Holmes, many voters could be abandoning their previous choices for president and siding with the new survey frontrunner.

Duterte tallied a seven-point rise in Metro Manila at 43%, from his 37% in the April 5-10 polls. Holmes said Duterte could have gained from the 10 percentage points that Poe shed in Metro Manila.

He added that Duterte may also have swayed voters from the support base of Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas in Class ABC.

Among the well-off respondents, Duterte's popularity jumped to 47% from his previous 37%. Meanwhile, Roxas dropped five points from 19% to 15%.

Holmes said more voters from Class ABC may have been enticed by Duterte's promise of waging war against crime and the drug trade.

"Maaari talagang itong issue ng class ABC ay issue na binibitbit ni Mayor Duterte; ito'y issue ng kriminalidad," he said in a DZMM interview.

He also said the 61% support of Mindanao respondents shows that voter support for the mayor is consolidating in the south.

Holmes also mentioned that there are no significant changes in the performance of candidates in Balance Luzon, the largest voting population.


Meanwhile, the Pulse Asia official said the latest survey does not factor in possible backlash from Duterte's controversial remarks on the rape-slay of an Australian missionary in 1989.

Duterte has come under fire for his remarks on the rape of Australian missionary Jaqueline Hamill during a prison riot in Davao City. He later apologized for his remarks.

READ: Duterte takes back rape remark

Holmes said the effects of the rape remark may be gauged in the next surveys.

"Kung sa tingin nila, may pagdududa sila o may isang katangian silang hindi nagugustuhan, kahit na bitbit iyung usapin nila, maaaring magbunga ng pag-iiba ng isip," he said.

But Holmes also stressed that the survey does not indicate that the votes which Duterte may lose would automatically go to Poe, who also appears as the second choice for president of most respondents.

The survey only asked about the respondent's second choice for president if their first pick backs out of the race. Holmes said the survey does not take into account any other scenario.


Holmes said the vice-presidential race remains fluid and difficult to predict even as Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. retained his solo lead while Congresswoman Leni Robredo gained ground.

"Mayroong bumabawi at mayroong bumababa nang bahagya kaya medyo mas tight ito, mahirap basahin kung anong mangyayari before ng May 9," he said.

The latest Pulse Asia survey showed Robredo overtaking Senator Chiz Escudero. Nationwide, 29% picked Marcos, 23% picked Robredo, and 20% picked Escudero.

Robredo was up by two points from her previous 21% while Escudero fell three points from his previous 20%.

Holmes said Escudero's lack of a geographical bailiwick may have contributed to his slump.

He said the top vice presidential bets have established their respective strongholds -- Robredo in Bicol and Marcos in Regions 1, 2 and 8.

Robredo also benefits from the support that her running mate, Roxas, has been getting from certain areas in Visayas, according to Holmes.

"Medyo bumababa iyung political preference kay Senator Escudero across geographical areas kasi nga hindi nakabatay, wala siyang matatawag na solid bailiwick," Holmes said.

Pulse Asia and ABS-CBN News are set to release two more surveys before the synchronized national and local polls.