RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News
(UPDATED) For the first time, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte joined consistent frontrunner Senator Grace Poe at the top spot of the presidential race.
This was the result of the latest ABS-CBN survey conducted by Pulse Asia—which was also the first poll taken after the Supreme Court upheld Poe's candidacy for president.
The poll was conducted two months before the May 9 elections—from March 8 to 13, 2016 nationwide on a sample size of 4,000—yielding a margin of error of +/- 1.5%.
The respondents were asked "If the coming 2016 election were held today, whom would you vote for as President of the Philippines?" and then they were shown a sample ballot and list of candidates as of February 15, 2016. Respondents were adults (18 and above) who were registered voters with biometrics.
A total of 26% picked Poe, 25% picked Duterte, 22% picked Vice President Jejomar Binay, 20% picked Mar Roxas, 3% picked Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, and 0.1% picked the late Congressman Roy Seneres.
This poll has a bigger sample compared to the March 1-6 ABS-CBN Pre-Electoral National Survey also by Pulse Asia which had 2,600 respondents. In that survey Poe had a slight lead over Duterte (28%-24%).
In the latest poll, Poe, Duterte and Binay statistically led in the National Capital Region (30%, 29% and 23%, respectively). The NCR poll was conducted from March 8-13 on a sample size of 450 and an error margin of +/-4.6%.
Poe took Luzon (34%) against Duterte (16%), Binay (26%) and Roxas (15%). The poll in balance Luzon had 1,800 respondents (925 from north/central Luzon from March 8-12, and 875 from southern Luzon from March 8-13).
Roxas dominated Visayas (36%) with Binay (21%) Poe (20%) and Duterte (18%) close to each other. The poll in Visayas was from March 8-12 on a sample of 850 (western: 200 from March 8-12; central: 275 from March 8-12; eastern: 200 from March 8-11; and Negros island region: 175 from March 8-12).
Duterte was the runaway winner in Mindanao (46%) followed by Roxas (20%), Poe (15%), and Binay (14%). Mindanao had a sample of 900 from March 8-12 (western: 400 from March 8-12; northern: 300 from March 8-12; and southern: 200 from March 8-11)
Poe and Duterte statistically led the biggest voting bloc class D (26% and 25%) versus Binay (21%) and Roxas (20%).
Duterte took class ABC (35%) versus Poe (22%), Binay (18%), and Roxas (17%).
Class E was almost evenly divided between the top four candidates.
The same poll also tested who would be voters' second choices if their first choice candidate for whatever reason does not pursue his or her candidacy.
Poe also appeared to be the top second choice among all candidates. Binay (27%) and Roxas (25%) would get the bulk of those whose first choice was Poe.
Poe (33%) would end up with the biggest chunk of those whose first choice was Duterte, with the next biggest chunk going to Binay (22%).
Poe (45%) would also get the lion's share of those whose first choice is Binay. The senator would also benefit the most from those whose first choice is Roxas and Santiago.
In a statement, Poe expressed her gratitude to the Filipino people who continue to support her presidential bid.
"We owe it to them for making their voices heard on their choice for the next president. With about a month and a half remaining in the campaign period, there will be no letup in our efforts to get to the people to explain what Gobyernong May Puso can do for them. We will be steadfast in connecting with the people and earning the highest mandate come May 9," she said.
The camp of Binay, likewise, said the Vice President will not stop working harder and will continue to fight poverty.
"Natutuwa kami sa talagang mainit na pagtanggap sa ating Vice President kahit saan siya magpunta. Hindi natitinag ang matibay na suporta at pagtitiwala ng mga core groups at supporters ni Vice President at lalo pang magpupursigi ang mga ito upang palakasin ang kandidatura ni Vice President," said Atty. Rico Quicho.
The camp of Roxas, for his part, noted that the presidential race remains to be tight. They are confident that the Roxas-Robredo tandem will eventually win come the May 9 polls.
"Kita naman natin noong debate na si Mar ang may pinakamalinaw na plano kung saan dadalhin ang Pilipinas, may pinakamalinis na intensyon, at pinakahanda para sa pagkapangulo. Naniniwala kami na lalabas sa susunod na survey ang positibong reaksyon ng sambayanan sa pamumuno ni Mar," Cong. Barry Gutierrez said.
In the vice-presidential race, Senators Bongbong Marcos and Francis Escudero were statistically tied at the top, 25% vs 24%, with Congresswoman Leni Robredo at 20%. Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is at 13% followed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV at 6% and Senator Gregorio Honasan at 5%.
Marcos and Escudero were already tied at the top spot in the March 1-6 ABS-CBN Pre-electoral National Survey also by Pulse Asia which had 2,600 respondents.
In the latest survey, Marcos and Escudero also statistically led in the NCR (35% vs 30%) and balance Luzon (29% vs 28%). Robredo was the runaway winner in the Visayas (34%) while no one had a clear lead in Mindanao.
Marcos took Class ABC (31) and statistically led Class D with Escudero (27% vs 25%).
Respondents were also asked to pick a second choice in case their first choice couldn't continue running for president.
A big chunk (30%) of Marcos' voters will go for Escudero if he is out of the game.
Marcos, Robredo and Cayetano seem to benefit if Escudero is out of the game.
A big chunk (34%) of Robredo's voters will go for Escudero if he is out of the game.
Escudero benefits the most if Cayetano and Trillanes are out of the election.
Marcos benefits the most if Honasan drops out of the race.
"We are happy that our message of unity resonates and is being accepted by the people. I think we are moving in the right direction. We remain focused on the campaign and we will continue to work harder to get our message across to more people," said Marcos.
Robredo said: "Makikita sa huling Pulse Asia survey ang pagtaas-baba ng ating mga kalaban samantalang within striking distance tayo. Hindi pa nakakapagdesisyon ang ating mga kababayan kaya ipagpapatuloy pa rin natin ang sipag sa pag-iikot upang maiparating ang ating adhikain at platapormang mabigyan ng oportunidad na umasenso ang lahat ng ating kababayan... Tiwala tayo na sa huli, maaabot natin ang minimithing tagumpay sa Mayo at higit na mapagsilbihan ang ating mga kababayan bilang inyong pangalawang pangulo."
Meanwhile, Vicente Sotto, Franklin Drilon, Kiko Pangilinan, Ping Lacson, Migz Zubiri, Sergio Osmena, Risa Hontiveros, Ralph Recto, Leila de Lima, and Dick Gordon, Manny Pavcuiao, Sherwin Gatchalian and Joel Villanueva are in the likely winning circle.