DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/04 March) – Senator Grace Poe is on statistical tie with Vice President Jejomar Binay as the voters’ most preferred Presidential candidate while the lone Mindanawon Presidential candidate, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte tied for second place with administration bet Mar Roxas, in the latest Pulse Asia survey.
The survey was conducted on February 15 to 20, about a week after the campaign period started and ended a day before the 1st Presidential Debate held in Cagayan de Oro City on February 21. Pulse Asia released the results on March 4.
Duterte and Roxas both moved one percentage more, overall, from January’s 20% to February’s 21% while Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago is the least preferred at 3% from January’s 4%.
In the January survey, Poe topped with 30% while voter preference for Binay was 23%.
Duterte’s highest percentage increase from January to February was 7%, in the National Capital Region (NCR), from 16% in January to 23% in February.
Duterte opened his Presidential campaign on February 9 with a rally in Tondo, Manila in the NCR.
His chances also improved in the Balance of Luzon, which had him at the bottom, with only 8% in January to 10% in February but he remains the bottom-dweller in vote-richest BL, among the four contenders.
In the Visayas, where Duterte also posted the least voter preference among the four candidates with only 15% in January, Duterte gained four % in February but is still at the bottom at 19%, although statistically tied with Binay’s 20%.
But while Duterte’s chances improved elsewhere, the lone candidate from Mindanao lost three percentage points in Mindanao, from 48% in January to 45% in February.
Luzon, home to 12 of 15 Philippine presidents, has 55.95% of the voting population nationwide, with Visayas and Mindanao accounting for the remaining 44.05%.
The country’s total voting population is 54,363,844, according to the Comelec’s “Philippine 2016 Voters Profile” as of November 2015.
Out of this number, MindaNews totaled the votes by island: Luzon has 30,417,790 or 55.95%; Mindanao has 12,629,265 or 23.23% and Visayas has 11,316,789 (20.82%).
Of Luzon’s 30.4 million votes, NCR has 6,253,249 registered voters, representing 11.50% of the voters nationwide while the Balance of Luzon accounts for 24,164,541 or 44.45%.
The voting population in the Balance of Luzon (44.45%) is higher than the combined voting population of Mindanao and Visayas at 23,946,054 or 44.05%.
Who’s leading where
In the NCR, voters prefer Binay (33% in February from 32% in January), followed by Poe and Duterte who tied at 23%. Poe suffered a 10% decline from 33% in January to 23% in February while Duterte gained seven percentage points from 16% in January to 23% in February.
Voter preference for Duterte in the NCR was highest at 34% in November, in a special survey commissioned by Duterte supporters. In that survey, voter preference for Poe was 26%, Binay 22% and Roxas at 11%.
Since September last year, voter preference for Roxas in the NCR has consistently been at 11%. Four more surveys had been conducted after September.
In the Balance of Luzon, voters prefer Poe (33%), Binay (29%), Roxas (19%) and Duterte remains the bottom-dweller among the four, at 10%.
In the Visayas, voter preference is highest for Roxas at 35%, Poe at 24%, Binay at 20% and Duterte at 19%.
In Mindanao, voters still prefer Duterte among the four candidates, but his rating dropped from 48% in January to 45% in February. Binay is the next preferred candidate in Mindanao with 21%, up by seven percentage points from January’s 14% while Poe and Roxas tied at 15% in February, Poe, down by one percentage point from 16% in January and Roxas down by six percentage points.
In the socio-economic classes, voters belongin to the ABC class are inclined to vote for Roxa and Poe who both got 25% in February. Poe was steady at 25% from January while Roxas gained five percentage points from January’s 20%. But they’re on statistical tie with Duterte whose rating was 24% in both January and February. Binay suffered a seven per cent decline, from 21% in January to 14% in February.
Voters in the D class prefer Binay and Poe, both 25% in February, Poe from 32% and Binay from 22%. Twenty-two per cent of the voters prefer Duterte, from 21% in January and Roxas at 21% from 19% in January.
Class E or the poorest of the poor, prefers a Binay presidency (31% from 30% in February), over Poe (28% from 26% in January), Roxas (19% from 25%) and Duterte with 18% from 15% in January.
In a statement, Duterte’s spokesperson Peter Lavina said the recent Pulse Asia survey results “give us more encouragement to work harder on the ground motivated by the trust of the people on Rodrigo Duterte’s political agenda of genuine change for the Filipino people and the country.”
Lavina said the survey results “do not reflect what we believe are the real sentiments of the Filipinos” but at the same time noted that they “have seen our numbers steadily advancing overall” and that they have “also seen where we are weak and need to catch up, as well as recognize where we are making great headways.”
Based on a multistage probability sample of 1,800 registered voters, 18 years old and above, with biometrics, the nationwide survey has a ± 2% error margin at the 95% confidence level, Pulse Asia said in its media release on the results of the February survey. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)