Poe leads poll; Roxas takes Visayas; Duterte, Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – The latest Ulat ng Bayan survey of Pulse Asia shows Senator Grace Poe still leading presidential candidates if elections were held today, with a rating of 26%, followed by resigned Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The choice of major island groups are also well-defined in the poll conducted September 8-14: Poe is the top choice in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, while Roxas takes the Visayas, his home region. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who ranks 4th nationwide, tops the poll in Mindanao.

The survey, a copy of which was obtained by Rappler Monday morning, September 28, had 2,400 respondents and a margin error of +/-2%. 

Respondents were asked: "Sa mga taong nasa listahang ito, sino ang inyong iboboto bilang PRESIDENTE NG PILIPINAS kung ang eleksiyon ng 2016 ay gaganapin ngayon at sila ay mga kandidato?" (Of the people on this lista, who would you vote for PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES if the 2016 elections were held today and they are candidates?)

Respondents were allowed to choose only one. They were also allowed to indicate names that were not on the list.

Poe got a rating of 26%, which is one percentage point lower than another Pulse Asia survey conducted shortly before the quarterly Ulat ng Bayan. The August 27 to September 3, where she got 27%, was commissioned by broadcast company ABS-CBN and had half the size of the Ulat's sample.

In the Ulat ng Bayan, Roxas ranked 2nd with 20%, tied with Binay who got 19%. Duterte was close 4th with 16%.

Eight more names were picked or mentioned by respondents as preferred presidential contenders, but they all got single-digit rankings, while 2 of them got 0.

Comparing ratings that contenders got in the latest survey and the last Ulat ng Bayan poll conducted May 30 to June 5, only Roxas got an increase – 10 percentage points from 10%.

The decreases that Poe, Binay, and Duterte got were within the error margin, however. 

In a statement after the report came out Monday, Poe said: "Again, I thank the Filipino people for their confidence. It is from them that I draw my strength. More than just a measure of popularity, this is a reminder that we should always focus on performance and genuine service."

Binay's spokesman for political affairs, Rico Quicho, said in a statement that the Vice President was "satisfied" with the latest survey results. He said Binay got that rating despite not airing any television advertisement during the survey period.

"It showed us that we have a stable core of supporters," Quicho said.

The spokesman said, "The Vice President will continue to talk directly with the people and work doubly hard to inform them of his track record of helping the poor and programs to bring more employment, quality education, accessible healthcare, and reduction of poverty."

Vice presidential picks

Because the survey period ended two days before Poe declared her presidential bid, the greatest number of respondents, 24%, still said they would vote for her as vice president if elections were held at the time. 

She was tied with Senator Francis Escudero, who got 23%. Escudero declared after the survey period that he would be Poe's running mate in 2016.

Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr ranked 3rd with 13%, followed by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano with 9%. Both belong to the Nacionalista Party, whose leaders said party members aspiring for higher office will be on their own if they will run under the banners of different parties. 

Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo, whom the Liberal Party wants to field as Roxas' running mate, ranked 10th with 3%.

Noticeable is the huge drop in Poe's rating compared to the last Ulat ng Bayan survey before this. She had 41% picking her for  vice president in the May 30-June 5 poll, and only 24% now.

Escudero, meanwhile, got an 8-percentage point increase, from 15% in May-June to 23% in September.

Regional choices

Of the presidential contenders, only Binay did not top any of the major island groups, but he was 2nd to Poe in the two vote-richest areas: Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

Poe was top choice in Metro Manila with 26%, followed by Binay with 22% and Duterte with 21%. Roxas got 11%.

The greatest number of respondents in the balance of Luzon picked Poe, who got 31%, followed by Binay with 21%. Roxas was 3rd with 18%, while Duterte got 8%

Roxas got the highest rating in the Visayas, where he comes from, with 34%. He followed by Poe with 20%, while Binay got 16%, and Duterte 14%.

In Mindanao, where Duterte is based and where his advocacy for a federal system of government resonates the most, the Davao City mayor topped the poll with 29%. He was followed by Poe with 20%, Binay with 17%, and Roxas with 15%.

This was even if the survey started September 8, a day after Duterte said he would not run for president.

The Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan is the last presidential preference survey before the filing of certificates of candidacy October 12 to 16. Rappler.com