MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - With less than 2 weeks left before Election Day, Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III pulled away in the latest Pulse Asia survey with a 19 percentage point lead over two closest rivals.
In the April 23-25 survey, Aquino gained 2 percentage points with 39% support from 37% in the end of March survey.
Sen. Manny Villar of the Nacionalista Party lost 5 percentage points, dropping from 25% in March to 20% in end April.
Former President Joseph Estrada increased by 2 percentage points and was tied with Villar at second place with 20% in April from 18% in March.
Lakas-KAMPI's Gilbert Teodoro was still fourth at 7%, followed by Eddie Villanueva at 3%, Richard Gordon at 2%, Vetallano Acosta at 1%, Nicanor Perlas at 0.3%, John Carlos de los Reyes at 0.2%, and Jamby Madrigal at 0.1%.
"With almost four in ten Filipino registered voters (39%) supporting his presidential bid, Senator Aquino remains the leading presidential contender in the May 2010 elections," Pulse Asia said in its April 29 media release from Ronald Holmes, the polling firm's president.
Pulse Asia's research fellow, Ana Tabunda, told ANC in an interview that Villar's big drop could be attributed to accusations that he used his position as Senate President to manipulate the stock market.
Tabunda said that the survey, Pulse Asia's last for the May 10 elections, could be seen as an "indication" of the results, although it can still change.
"This is only as good as for now. It could be an indication, but it's not that hard in fact," she said.
VP race: It's Roxas vs Binay
In the vice-presidential race, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay gained a whopping 9 percentage points in the survey for vice-president, overtaking Sen. Loren Legarda for second place and was just 9 percentage points behind Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas II in end of April.
Binay, the running mate of former President Joseph Estrada, jumped from 19% in end of March to 28% in the April 23-25 survey.
Legarda dropped 3 points and continued to fall from 23% in end of March to 20% in April 23-25.
Roxas also declined, falling 6 percentage points from his end of March rating of 43% to 37% in April 23-25.
"Despite a 6-percentage point decline in his overall voter preference during the period March to April 2010, Senator Roxas still has the lead in the vice-presidential race with 37% of voters supporting his candidacy," Pulse Asia said.
"Riding on a 9-percentage point gain in electoral support, the Makati City Mayor now finds himself in second place in the vice-presidential race," the polling firm added.
Lakas-KAMPI's Edu Manzano and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando were tied at 4th place with 3%.
Bangon Pilipinas' Perfecto Yasay was fifth at 1%.
KBL’s Jay Sonza and Ang Kapatiran's Dominador Chipeco still had below 1% ratings.
The number of undecided or refused to give an answer for the presidential and vice-presidential surveys didn't change at 9%.
Pulse Asia interviewed 1,800 registered voters. The survey has a margin of error of plus/minus 2%.