MANILA - Senator Grace Poe (independent) and Vice President Jejomar Binay (UNA) are holding on to their shared lead in the latest Pulse Asia Inc. survey on voters’ preferred presidential candidate for the May 9 elections.

Commissioned by ABS-CBN, the survey was conducted from February 16 to 27, during which the country marked the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power uprising, and the five presidential candidates faced off in their first public and televised debate.

Some 5,200 qualified voters were covered by the Pulse-ABS CBN survey – almost triple Pulse’s usual sample size of 1,800 respondents. The huge sample size meant a smaller margin of error, which Pulse pegged at plus/minus 1.4.

A unique feature of the latest Pulse-ABS CBN survey was the “secret voting,” in which respondents gave their answers in sealed ballots opened only during tabulation.

Asked whom they would vote for president if elections were held today, 26 percent of the respondents picked Poe, while 24 percent chose Binay.

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Pulse said with the error margin, the 2-point gap between Poe and Binay placed them in a statistical tie.

At third place in the presidential survey was Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte (PDP-Laban) with 22 percent; followed by former Secretary Mar Roxas (LP) with 19 percent. Sen. Miriam Santiago (PRP) was a far fifth with 3 percent.

With 29 percent of the respondents, Poe would also be the voters’ second choice for president if Binay, Duterte, Roxas, or Santiago were to drop out of the race for whatever reason.

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Poe was the next option for 37 percent of Binay’s voters, 31 percent of Duterte’s, and 41 percent of Roxas’. She was statistically tied with Duterte – 21 and 22, respectively – as the alternative for Santiago’s voters.

On the other hand, Binay would be the next choice of majority of Poe’s voters if the latter could not pursue her candidacy.

During the survey period, doubts lingered on whether Poe could pursue her candidacy due to citizenship and residency issues. But on Tuesday, a day before Pulse released the survey results, the Supreme Court ruled that Poe was qualified to run.

READ: SC: Poe qualified to run for president


In the vice presidential race, senators Bongbong Marcos (independent) and Chiz Escudero (independent) were also in a dead heat, each with 26 percent of the votes.

In third place was Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo (LP) with 18 percent, followed by senators Alan Peter Cayetano (independent), 13 percent; Gringo Honasan, 6 percent; and Antonio Trillanes IV, 5 percent.

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Like his runningmate Poe, Escudero also emerged the second option for majority of those voting for Marcos, Robredo, Cayetano, Honasan, or Trillanes should their first choice drop out of the race.

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In the senatorial preference survey, fourteen candidates – mostly incumbent or former senators – have a statistical chance of winning if elections were held today. They are Vicente Sotto, Francis Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Panfilo Lacson, Ralph Recto, Migs Zubiri, Sergio Osmena III, Leila De Lima, Dick Gordon, Manny Pacquiao, Risa Hontiveros, Joel Villanueva, TG Guingona, and Sherwin Gatchalian.

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Grace , Binay hold on to shared lead: Pulse Asia 11