MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — Former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. kept his lead in the February survey of Pulse Asia on preferred presidential candidates in the May elections, results released Monday showed.
Of 2,400 adult respondents, 60 percent said they would vote for Marcos if the elections were held during the survey period Feb. 18-23, Pulse Asia said, the same rate he got during the Jan. 19-24 polls.
Vice President Leni Robredo, who is backed by 15 percent of likely voters, placed second. She got 16 percent during the January survey.
Pulse Asia said Marcos, 64, "enjoys the lead in all geographic areas and socio-economic groupings", at 53 to 68 percent and 58 to 61 percent, respectively.
Robredo "posts double-digit voter preferences across geographic areas and socio-economic classes," at 16 to 19 percent and 13 to 17 percent, respectively, except in Mindanao, where she got 5 percent.
Pulse Asia said the following presidential candidates "each registered voter preferences of at most 10 percent."
- Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, 10 percent
- Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao, 8 percent
- Sen. Panfilo Lacson, 2 percent
- Faisal Mangondato, 0.4 percent
- Labor leader Leody de Guzman, 0.1 percent
- Dr. Jose Montemayor, Jr., 0.01 percent
Former Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella and former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales "receive essentially no support from the country’s electorate," said Pulse Asia.
It said 3 percent of likely voters were still undecided about their choice for president, 0.04 percent refuse to identify their preferred presidential bet, while 1 percent are not inclined to vote for any candidate for the post.
The survey was conducted after the formal opening on Feb. 8 of the campaign period for national position candidates, the dismissal on Feb. 10 by the Comelec First Division of three petitions seeking to disqualify Marcos, and the participation of Marcos, De Guzman, Abella and Gonzales in the SMNI Presidential debate last Feb. 15.
SECOND CHOICE CANDIDATE
Should their original choice for president withdraw from the elections, 26 percent of respondents said they would instead vote for Domagoso, Pulse Asia said.
Second place in terms of second-choice voter preferences is shared by Pacquiao (13 percent), Robredo (12 percent), Lacson (11 percent), and Marcos (9 percent).
The pollster said 23 percent of likely voters do not have a second-choice presidential bet, 4 percent are ambivalent about their alternative candidate, and 0.1 percent refuse to name their second option.
In the vice presidential race, majority or 53 percent of likely voters are inclined to elect Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as Robredo's successor, Pulse Asia said.
Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III has the support of almost a fourth of respondents at 24 percent.
Around a tenth or 11 percent would vote for Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan if elections were held during the survey period, Pulse Asia added.
Two vice-presidential candidates register single-digit voter preferences, namely, Dr. Willie Ong with 6 percent and Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, with 1 percent.
The other candidates obtained less than 1 percent voting support, including the following:
- Emmanuel Lopez, 0.1 percent
- former Akbayan Party-List Representative Walden Bello, 0.1 percent
- Atty. Carlos Serapio, 0.01 percent
Candidate Rizalito David "receives essentially no support from the country’s electorate," Pulse Asia said.
Indecision, refusal or non-support in relation to one’s original vice-presidential preference "are sentiments shared by 4 percent of likely voters, it said.
Election surveys can be considered "snapshots of the moment" and reflect the people's sentiments at the time the surveys were conducted, analysts have explained.
LENI CAMP SAYS SURVEY DOES NOT CAPTURE RECENT SUPPORT SURGE
Robredo's spokesman Barry Gutierrez noted the latest Pulse Asia survey was conducted before "a snowballing in support" for the Vice President, as seen in her "record breaking rallies" in recent weeks.
"The latest Pulse Asia survey was done prior to these game changing developments, and does not yet capture the more recent surge in VP Leni's support," Gutierrez said in a statement.
"With this clear momentum from the people's campaign -- reflected both in the massive rallies as well as in online metrics -- we are confident that the next 56 days will culminate in an election day victory for Leni Robredo," he added.
Pacquiao questioned the 0 survey score he got in Metro Manila.
"Zero, grabe. Sino kaya maniwala doon? Baka mayayaman lang tinanong nila. Baka hindi nila tinanong yung mahihirap," he said.
(Zero, that's too much. Who will believe that? Perhaps they only asked the rich. Maybe they did not ask the poor.)
"Kahit i-zero pa nila ako, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, hindi pa rin ako matitinag," he added.
(Even if they give me zero for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, I will be undaunted.)
The latest survey results do not bother Lacson "because the numbers I feel on the ground are different", he said, noting that "surveys are not elections."
"After the presidential interviews and forums, I thought I should gain instead of lose support," said the lawmaker, who, in the January survey of Pulse Asia, got 4 percent.
Lacson said he will "continue this fight all the way to Election Day."
Meanwhile, the same survey showed that 14 out of 64 Senate candidates "have a statistical chance of winning," Pulse Asia said, with broadcaster Raffy Tulfo enjoying a "solo first place" with the support of 66.9 percent of respondents.
The pollster said Antique Rep. Loren Legarda, former Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, and Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano shared the second to fourth places.
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri and Sorsogon Governor Francis "Chiz" Escudero placed fifth to seventh.
The other senatorial candidates with statistical chance of winning as of last month included the following.
- Actor Robin Padilla
- Former Vice President Jejomar Binay
- Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian
- Sen. Joel Villanueva
- Former Senator Jinggoy Estrada
- Former Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista
- Sen. Risa Hontiveros
- Former Senator JV Estrada Ejercito