It’s still anybody’s ball game for the three leading presidential aspirants – Sen. Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay and former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II, an official of Pulse Asia Research Inc. said yesterday.
Poe and Binay were “statistically tied” at first place in the latest Pulse Asia survey on presidential preference commissioned by ABS-CBN, obtaining 27 percent and 21 percent respectively.
Administration candidate Roxas was not far behind with 18 percent.
“The figures indicate, at this point, that any of the three or possibly even four candidates can win the presidency in May 2016,” Pulse Asia research director Ana Maria Tabunda told The STAR.
The fourth possible candidate she was referring to was Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who obtained 15 percent.
“I can’t count Mayor Duterte out yet because he is just three points away from Sec. Roxas’ voter preference,” she said.
Duterte earlier said he was not interested in running for president and called on his supporters not to push through with their march today to convince him to join the presidential race.
The survey was conducted from Aug. 27 to Sept. 3, with 1,200 respondents nationwide. It has an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points.
Poe’s rating fell three points from 30 percent in June. Tabunda said the movement in Poe’s rating was insignificant.
Binay got 21 percent, a point lower than his previous survey rating.
Among the top presidential contenders, Roxas posted the biggest gain of 10 percentage points in the latest Pulse Asia poll.
Tabunda attributed the significant improvement in Roxas’ ratings to his own effort and to President Aquino’s endorsement of the former interior secretary as the administration’s presidential bet for 2016.
“P-Noy’s endorsement of Mar Roxas as administration candidate helps. But some of the increase in voter preference for Sec. Roxas can probably be attributed to Mar himself,” she said.
Tabunda noted that the significant increase in voter preference for Roxas was registered in the Visayas, a known bailiwick of the former senator and Cabinet member.
‘Don’t count him out’
Tabunda also said Duterte still has a chance to win the presidency based on the results of the latest poll.
Duterte landed in fourth place, maintaining his 15 percent rating despite his repeated pronouncements that he had no plans of running for president in 2016.
Trailing Duterte were Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who obtained five percent each.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago had four percent, followed by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and former senator Panfilo Lacson with one percent each.
Pulse Asia asked respondents the question: “Of the people on this list, whom would you vote for as president of the Philippines if the 2016 elections were held today and they were candidates? You may mention others not included in this list.”
The survey was conducted barely a month after Roxas declared his presidential bid. It was also taken at the height of the five-day Iglesia ni Cristo protest, during which Poe drew criticism for defending the religious group, known for requiring its members to vote as a bloc.
In the vice presidential survey, Poe was “statistically tied” with her own running mate Sen. Francis Escudero. Poe received 26 percent while Escudero got 25 percent.
Escudero announced his vice presidential bid last Sept. 17, a day after Poe’s announcement of her decision to run for president.
Other personalities mentioned in the poll obtained single-digit scores: Marcos and Cayetano, each with seven percent; and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, two percent.
Marcos is being eyed as Binay’s running mate by the opposition United Nationalist Alliance.
Robredo and Cayetano, on the other hand, were being considered as possible running mate of Roxas.
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. – With Marvin Sy, Paolo Romero