Duterte continues surge in ABS-CBN poll

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte continued his surge in the latest ABS-CBN survey on presidential candidates released on Tuesday, April 19.

Based on the commissioned nationwide survey conducted by Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated conducted from April 5 to 10 among 4,000 registered voters, Duterte scored a voter preference rating of 32%, 2 percentage points higher than in the news network's March 29-April 3 survey.

The ratings of the other candidates remained unchanged from the last poll: Senator Grace Poe was second at 25%; Vice President Jejomar Binay and administration standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II were statistically tied for third place at 20% and 18%, respectively; while Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago kept her 1%-rating.

Santiago's running mate, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, is the current front runner in the vice presidential race, based on the same survey.

The latest survey results also showed that with just a month before the elections, 4% of voters were undecided on their presidential candidate.

The nationwide survey has an error margin of ±1.5% at the 95% confidence level.

Duterte tops all socio-economic classes

Duterte continued to strengthen his grip among Mindanao voters with a 58%-rating, up by 3 percentage points.

He was also the most favored candidate in all socio-economic classes: class ABC (37% from 41%), class D (32% from 31%), and class E (31% from 26%).

Duterte and Poe dominated Metro Manila, both with a rating of 32% in the region, followed by Binay with 23%.

Data from Pulse Asia Research, Inc

Subnational estimates for the geographic areas covered in the survey have the following error margins at 95% confidence level: ±4.6% for Metro Manila, ±2.3% for the rest of Luzon, ±3.4% for Visayas, and ±3.3 for Mindanao.

Top back-up candidate

The latest survey results also showed that if their primary choice for president drops out of the race, 29% would vote for Poe.

Seventeen percent named Binay as their back-up candidate; Duterte, 16%; Roxas, 14%; and Santiago, 6%. Over a month before the elections, 18% of voters did not have an alternative presidential candidate. 

During the survey period, rival candidates began attacking Duterte for his "impossible" promise to end crime in 3-6 months which is feared to lead to extrajudicial killings.  In his campaign speeches, Binay described Duterte as unfit for the presidency as he is a "child killer" and "executioner of the poor." 

Other major issues during the survey period were the Supreme Court's affirmation of its decision to allow Poe to run for president, the Senate probe into the bloody dispersal of the Kidapawan drought protest, and the indictment of North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza for graft charges over alleged fund misuse.

This was also the time Duterte made a controversial remark about Mexico – which he described as a place where kidnappings and killings are rife and therefore not fit for tourists – during a tourism convention attended by Mexican Ambassador to the Philippines Julio Camarena Villaseñor.

The survey was conducted a week before a video of Duterte joking about an Australian rape victim during a campaign rally went viral. Women's rights group Gabriela, and various presidential and vice presidential candidates have criticized Duterte for his remarks.

In a statement, Poe reiterated that the latest survey results would serve as a "guide" for her team in the homestretch of the campaign.