Pacquiao, 3 other newbies in senatorial Magic 12 – survey

MANILA, Philippines – Re-electionists and returning senators dominate the latest Pulse Asia survey on the 2016 elections, but 4 first-time senatorial aspirants – including world boxing champion and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao – have made it to the Top 12.

The survey, a copy of which was obtained by Rappler Monday morning, September 28, had 2,400 respondents and a margin error of +/-2%. It is the last pre-election survey before the filing of certificates of candidacy October 12 to 16. (READ: Poe leads poll; Roxas takes Visayas; Duterte, Mindanao)

Respondents were asked: "Kung ang eleksyon ng 2016 ay isasagawa ngayon, sinu-sino sa mga sumusunod na personalidad ang inyong iboboto kung sakaling sila ay kakandidato sa pagka-SENADOR? Puwede kayong pumili ng hanggang 12 pangalan."

(If the 2016 senatorial elections were held today, who among the following personalities would you vote for if they were candidates You may choose up to 12 names.) 

Twelve senators will be finishing their terms in 2016, thus the number of slots available.

Respondents were given 50 names to choose from.

Due to statistical ties between some candidates, 14 names emerged as likely to make it to the so-called Magic 12 if the senatorial elections were held today.

Safely on the top 6 are 4 re-electionist senators (Vicente Sotto III with 63.6%; Ferdinand Marcos Jr, 54.9%; Franklin Drilon, 48.2%; and Ralph Recto, 45.4%) and 2 returning ones (Panfilo Lacson, 59.3%; Francis Pangilinan, 46.6%).

Pacquiao, who got 39.6%, ranked 7th-11th – the highest among newbie senatorial aspirants who are likely to win if elections were held at the time of the survey. 

The other first-time "senatoriables" are Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar, son of Senator Cynthia Villar and former Senate President Manuel Villar who ranked 8th-14th with 35.8%; resigned Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, 9th-14th with 35.2%; and Taguig Representative Lino Cayetano, brother of senators Pia Cayetano and Alan Cayetano with 34.2%.

Since Pulse Asia started doing senatorial preference surveys in March 2014, at least 89 names had been included. The September poll is its 6th for the 2016 elections.

As of June, only 26 of those 89 names had appeared in all 5 surveys, while 19 appeared only once.

Rappler checked the names included in the latest Ulat ng Bayan survey against the names of politicians being considered for the senatorial slates of the 3 declared presidential contenders – Vice President Jejomar Binay, resigned Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, and Senator Grace Poe. We also checked them against personalities who had released political advertisements to increase their name recall.

Of the names being floated by the Binay, Poe, and Roxas camps so far, the following (in descending order) are not within the likely winning circle as of mid-September:

A few names floated by presidential camps were not included in the survey. There were names on the list, however, who had not been mentioned by the political parties as possible senatorial candidates.