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WHO'S LEADING 2016 RACE? Senator Grace Poe and Vice-President Jejomar Binay are sharing the lead in the latest Pulse Asia pre-election survey of the presidential race, with ex-DILG chief Mar Roxas and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also statistically tied with Binay.
The survey, conducted last February 15-20 with 1,800 registered voters, showed Poe getting 26% of the vote while Binay got 25%.
However, the survey's ± 2% error margin means Binay is statistically tied with two other presidential aspirants - Rodrigo Duterte and Mar Roxas who both got 21%.
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago got only 3% voter support in the latest survey.
The survey was conducted before the first PiliPinas presidential debate in Cagayan de Oro City last February 21.
The latest survey showed Poe losing four percentage points from her lead in the January survey, dropping from 30% to 26% voter support. She lost 10 percentage points among Metro Manila voters (33% to 23%), six percentage points in Balance Luzon (39% to 33%), two percentage points in Visayas (26% to 24%), and one percentage point in Mindanao (from 16% to 15%).
She also lost support among Class D voters, from 32% to 25%, or a dip of seven percentage points. She gained voter support among Class E voters, increasing from 26% to 28% during the survey period.
Poe's spokesperson Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the senator is grateful for the Filipino people's continued trust and confidence.
"Despite all the left-handed attacks against the person of Sen. Poe, the Filipino voters continue to stand behind her. Their steadfast support will serve as inspiration for Sen. Poe to intensify her campaign that is anchored on the message of Gobyernong may Puso," Gatchalian said.
Binay's numbers increased slightly from 23% in January to 25% in February.
His highest gain was among Mindanao voters, from 14% voter support to 21% or a gain of seven percentage points.
Binay, however, lost voter support among Class ABC voters, dropping from 21% to 14% during the survey period. He gained support from Class D (25%) and Class E (31%) voters.
According to Atty. Rico Quicho, campaign spokesperson of the vice president, they expect the alleged demolition by perception against Binay to intensify as his numbers in surveys continue to improve.
He said Binay will not be distracted from his determination to serve the people.
"Vice President Binay remains grateful for the trust and support of our people. He is offering to them a decisive and compassionate presidency that will address their concerns, with poverty being his top priority," he said.
Duterte gained more support from voters in nearly all geographical locations except Mindanao, where he dropped from 48% to 45% or a difference of 3 percentage points.
He gained 7 percentage points in Metro Manila (16% to 23%), 2 percentage points in Balance Luzon (8% to 10%), and 4 percentage points in the Visayas (15% to 19%).
He also increased voter support among Class E (15% to 18%) and Class D voters (21% to 22%).
Roxas gained similar 3 percentage-point increases in voter support in Balance Luzon and Visayas but suffered a six-percentage point drop in support in Mindanao (21% to 15%).
He gained more votes among Class ABC (20% to 25%) and Class D voters (19% to 21%) but suffered a six-percentage point drop among Class E voters (25% to 19%).
Malacañang said the latest pre-election survey shows the race tightening.
"The posturing is wearing thin as reality is catching up with those increasingly unable to withstand scrutiny. As the public's attention and concentration increases the breakthrough of the true candidates of reform is imminent," said presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
"We are confident that as clarity occurs, the public will take to heart that this nation has too much potential to risk any course other than continuity and stability through Daang Matuwid."
Support for Santiago among Class ABC voters dropped from 7 % to 1% during the survey period.
Pulse Asia said that from January to February this year, the level of support for the presidential candidates remained generally constant both across geographic areas and socioeconomic classes.
Among the news that preoccupied Filipinos up until the conduct of the surveys were the official start of the campaign period for candidates seeking national posts, continuation of Supreme Court hearings on petitions to disqualify Poe, the conduct of mock elections and the controversy over senatorial aspirant Manny Pacquiao's statement against homosexual behavior.
The survey has a ± 2% error margin at the 95% confidence level.
Pulse Asia said subnational estimates for the geographic areas covered in the survey have the following error margins at 95% confidence level: ± 6% for Metro Manila, ± 3% for the rest of Luzon and ± 5% for each of Visayas and Mindanao.
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