Senate race still dominated by former, reelectionist senators – poll

MANILA, Philippines – Nine of the 14 candidates with a statistical chance of winning in the Senate race are no strangers to the job, according to the results of a Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated survey released on Wednesday, March 9. 

The ABS-CBN-commissioned national survey, conducted from February 16 to 27 on 5,200 registered voters, showed Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III still leading the 56 candidates vying for a Senate seat. 

Of the 14 probable winners, 5 are reelectionists: Sotto, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Sergio Osmeña III, and Teofisto "TG" Guingona III.

Four are making a comeback to the Senate: former senators Francis Pangilinan, Panfilo Lacson, Miguel Zubiri, and Richard Gordon.

The rest are mostly former or incumbent lawmakers – Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao, former Akbayan party list representative Risa Hontiveros, Valenzuela City Representative Sherwin Gatchalian, and former CIBAC party list representative Joel Villanueva.

Former justice secretary Leila de Lima is the only candidate in the current winners' circle without any experience as a lawmaker.

Their ranking are as follows:

A non-commissioned Pulse Asia survey conducted from February 15 to 20 showed Pacquiao falling to the tail end of the probable winners. That survey, however, was conducted on a smaller number of respondents. (READ: Pacquiao biggest loser in latest senatorial poll)

Those who are just outside the winners' circle – all at 15th to 18th places – are Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez (20.6%), former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino (20.5%), former Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority chief Mark Lapid (20.3%), and former Makati vice mayor and actor Edu Manzano (19.3%).

The same survey also showed the leading presidential and vice presidential candidates. 

The nationwide survey has a ± 1.4% error margin at the 95% confidence level. Subnational estimates for the geographic areas covered in the survey have the following error margins at 95% confidence level: ± 4% for Metro Manila, ± 2.1% for the rest of Luzon and ± 3% for Visayas and 2.8 for ± Mindanao. –