Duterte stays on top in Pulse Asia survey
RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News
5 pct of voters still undecided; Grace Poe still top 2nd choice
MANILA (UPDATED) - Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is now the top choice for president of one out of every three Filipino voters.
That is based on the latest Pulse Asia "Pulso ng Bayan" survey, conducted from April 16 to 20. Based on a multistage probability sample of 1,800 registered voters 18 years old and above, with biometrics, the survey has a ± 2.3% error margin at the 95% confidence level.
The survey shows 35 percent of respondents choosing the tough-talking mayor from Davao City. This, despite his controversial remark about an Australian rape-slay victim.
Following Duterte is erstwhile frontrunner Senator Grace Poe, who got 22 percent.
Coming in at third place is Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas with 17 percent. The administration bet is statistically tied with Vice President Jejomar Binay, who got 16 percent.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago followed with 2 percent.
Those still undecided (5%), don't know/refused to answer survey (0.3%), and none (1%) accounted for a total of 6 percent of registered voters.
The survey was conducted at the height of the controversy involving Duterte's remark about Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill.
Duterte was heavily criticized after a saying that he should have been the first to rape Hamill instead of prison convicts. Hamill was one of several "prayer warriors" taken hostage by prisoner Federico Pugoy and other inmates inside Davao Metrodiscom in 1989.
READ: Duterte faces complaint over rape remark
BIG MAJORITY IN SOUTH, TOP IN ALL CLASSES
In terms of geographical area, Duterte dominated all except for Balance Luzon, where the most number of respondents favor Poe.
Duterte got 40 percent in the National Capital Region, 32 percent in the Visayas, and 58 percent in Mindanao. He got 22 percent in Balance Luzon, 6 percentage points below Poe's 28 percent.
The Davao City mayor was also the top choice across all socioeconomic classes, getting 43 percent from classes ABC, 32 percent from class D, and 40 percent from class E.
Pulse Asia said Poe was the top alternative among voters, with 32 percent of respondents saying they would vote for the neophyte senator if their first choice for president does not continue his/her candidacy.
She is followed by Binay with 16 percent, Duterte with 14 percent, Roxas with 13 percent, and Santiago with 6 percent.
Based on a multistage probability sample of 1,800 registered voters 18 years old and above, with biometrics, the survey has a ± 2.3% error margin at the 95% confidence level.
Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes, in a text message to ABS-CBN News, said this survey is essentially the same as the ABS-CBN survey conducted from April 12 to 17 among 4,000 respondents.
Holmes said the latest poll does not yet reflect the effects of the rape comments made by Duterte.
"The news on the rape joke may not have resonated yet," he said. "Essentially the same figure as the ABS-CBN survey. Grace marginally up by 1 percentage point as Duterte is. Not much of a difference from the ABS-CBN survey."
In the vice-presidential race, with 29 percent of respondents backing his bid, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. kept his lead over his fellow candidates.
In second place was Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo (24 percent).
Senator Francis Escudero (18 percent) was in third and was statistically tied with Duterte's running mate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano (16 percent).
Senator Gregorio Honasan II (4 percent) and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (3 percent) were statistically tied for last place.
Only 7 percent of Filipino registered voters are not supportive of any of these candidates for vice-president.
The Pulso ng Bayan survey comes on the heels of the Social Weather Stations' (SWS) own survey from April 18 to 20 which showed similar patterns for the presidency.
In the SWS survey, the scores in the presidential race are: Duterte 33%, Poe 24%, Roxas 19%, Binay 14%, Santiago 2%, and undecided/others 3%.
However, SWS' new scores in the vice presidential race are: Robredo 26%, Marcos 25%, Escudero 18%, Cayetano 16%, Trillanes 5%, Honasan 2%, and undecided/others 5%.
READ: SWS: Duterte widens lead; Robredo, Marcos in a tie
'IMPACT OF DUTERTE RAPE REMARK INCONCLUSIVE'
SWS Information Officer Leo Laroza explained that similarly, their poll did not yet factor in the impact of Duterte's rape comments.
"Well, yung comment lang tungkol sa 1989 rape-slay ang na-capture dito dahil ang field work dates ng survey na ito ay mula April 18 hanggang April 20. Ang balita tungkol sa comment ni Mayor Duterte tungkol sa Australian missionary na yun ay pumutok sa balita sometime April 17 at ito nabalita din sa mainstream media ng April 18. So technically, oo, na-capture ito ng survey, but unfortunately naman, hindi nakapaghanda ang survey na ito na magtanong tungkol sa balitang iyon," he said.
That is why, he stressed, the survey cannot yet conclusively say if Duterte was affected by the controversy.
"Conclusively, hindi natin masasabi kung may significant effect talaga ang balitang ito dun sa gains na nararanasan ni Mayor Duterte over the past three surveys na isinagawa ng SWS... Maaaring meron o walang epekto, pero sa puntong ito, di ito masasagot ng aming data."
Laroza recalled that when Duterte cursed the Pope, he lost 18 points. But he pointed out that the incident had already received substantial coverage when they took the poll.
"May mas matagal na nababalita. Days lang talaga ito, itong naging comment niya tungkol sa Australian missionary, actually isang araw, at most tatlong araw pa lang nagci-circulate during the time na ginawa yung survey. Kumpara doon sa ating balita tungkol sa sinabi niya tungkol sa Santo Papa during the middle of or early December," he explained.
Laroza, meanwhile, said both Duterte and Robredo benefited from their respective presidential and vice-presidential debates.
"Nakita natin ang pag-angat ng puntos ni Leni Robredo, enough para maging statistical tie siya with Bongbong Marcos. Sa totoo ay may 1 point advantage pa nga siya, 26 versus 25. Meron kami talagang findings sa tulong ng ibang pamamaraan, ito yung sa panel, dito kasi sa mobile panel survey namin, nakita kung paano nag-switch sa panel pagpili ng kung sino sa tingin nila ang pinakamahusay sa mga debate.
"Tungkol sa presidential debate, ang nai-report na namin mula doon sa panel mobile survey ang napupusuan nilang mga lumalabas na pinakamahusay para sa kanila sa mga debates ay si Grace Poe at saka si Mayor Duterte. Isa na rin siguro ito marahil sa mga factor kung bakit na-sustain ni Mayor Duterte ang kaniyang unti-unting pagtaas dahil bukod sa matibay na mga supporters niya lalo sa south, nagbe-benefit din siya sa mga presidential debates na ginanap so far," said Laroza.
According to Laroza, based on their experience, a significant chunk of voters do not make their decisions until late in the game.
"Kahit as close, days bago ang eleksyon, nakikita pa rin namin na may possibility na magbago sa mga rankings. Tulad nung 2010 elections, ang pinakamalaking balita dun ay sa vice-presidential race two weeks before, nagawang maungusan ni Binay na nasa 3rd place nung mga panahon na yun, nagawa niyang humabol sa 2nd placer na si Legarda. And as close as three to four days before the election day, nagawa niyang pumantay kay--nung panahon na yun frontrunner--na si Mar Roxas," he recalled.
"Karamihan ng mga botante, nakakapag-decide na siguro, mga 60 percent nakakapag-decide sila sa buwan pa lang ng Pebrero. Pero yung 40 percent na yan, maaari pang magbago ang isip nila. Idagdag mo pa diyan yung undecided na nagsasabing wala pa silang napupusuan on the day of election. Base na rin sa naging exit poll, ang nagsasabi na ang desisyon nila ay yung araw lang ng eleksyon ay halos 15 percent. Napakalaki pa ng opportunities." - With reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News