MANILA (UPDATE) — Former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. remains the frontrunner in the 2022 presidential race, with his closest rival Vice President Leni Robredo gaining points in the recent March pre-election survey released by Pulse Asia Research Inc. on Wednesday.
Pulse Asia said 56 percent of Filipinos said they would vote for Marcos Jr. if the elections were held at the time the survey was held from March 17 to 21.
The research firm noted that there were “few significant changes” over the last month between February and March.
While Robredo still trails Marcos Jr. with 24 percent; she saw an increase of 9 points from 15 percent in the same survey period.
Marcos Jr.’s rating decreased by 4 points compared to the 60 percent he got in the February survey.
He also went down across all classes: 4 percent in Class C, 5 percent in Class D, and 6 percent in Class E.
Robredo meanwhile posted the highest increase among the presidential candidates: 13 percent among Class C voters, 10 percent in Class D, and 9 percent in Class E.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso ranks third with 8 percent, followed by Sen. Manny Pacquiao with 6 percent, and Sen. Panfilo Lacson with 2 percent.
Moreno remained the top second presidential choice among Filipino voters at 23 percent, followed by Lacson and Pacquiao with both 13 percent, Robredo with 10 percent, Marcos with 8 percent, and labor leader Leody de Guzman with 2 percent.
Robredo's increase in points was "starting to reflect what we have been seeing on the ground all along," her spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said in a statement.
"This 13-point swing going into the last two months of the campaign clearly establishes what we have long known: that VP Leni has the momentum, which we expect will only further intensify and accelerate all the way to May 9," he said.
"What we are seeing now is the turning of the tide. Sa tulong ng ating mga kababayang patuloy na kumikilos, kumakatok, nakikiusap, nangungumbinsi, ipapanalo natin ito."
(We will win this with the help of Filipinos who continue to take action, approach and convince others.)
SARA REMAINS TOP VP CHOICE
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, meanwhile, remains the frontrunner among the vice-presidential candidates.
In the March survey, 56 percent of Filipino voters said they would choose Duterte-Carpio. This is up by 3 points from her 53 percent rating last February.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III is still at second place at 20 percent, down by 4 points from his previous 24 percent rating.
Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, while enjoying a 4 percent increase, remains at third at 15 percent.
Dr. Willie Ong ranks fourth at 5 percent, followed by Rep. Lito Atienza at 1 percent.
“Public sentiment regarding preferences for vice-president is essentially constant between February 2022 and March 2022,” Pulse Asia noted.
The March survey involved 2,400 respondent aged 18 years old and above nationwide. The respondents were interviewed through face-to-face interviews.
It has a 2 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level, Pulse Asia said.
Two presidential debates were held at the time the survey was conducted, including the first leg of the Comelec-organized “PiliPinas Debates 2022.”
Also among the key events that occurred at the time were the skyrocketing oil prices amid the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and President Rodrigo Duterte approving a monthly subsidy for poor Filipinos in response to the crisis.