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By Kathryn Mae P. Tubadeza


Poe, Binay lead in pre-election survey




Posted on September 23, 2015


SENATOR Grace Poe, Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay and former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas II are leading in the presidential race, according to a BusinessWorld-Social Weather Stations Pre-Election survey, with an analyst saying the three are “statistically tied.”

Results of a Sept. 2-5 survey among 1,200 respondents nationwide -- with sampling error margin of ±3 percentage points for national percentages -- found that 96% of respondents are registered voters.

Of the registered voters, 26% said they would vote for neophyte lawmaker Ms. Poe, while 24% picked opposition leader Mr. Binay and 20% chose Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Roxas.

Behind the three are Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte (11%), Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. (4%), Senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero (4%), former president and Manila Mayor Joseph E. Estrada (3%), Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (2%) and former Senator Manuel B. Villar Jr. (1%).

Former Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, Senators Alan Peter S. Cayetano and Senator Loren G. Legarda obtained 0.8%.

Two percent of the respondents were undecided.




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Respondents were furnished with a BusinessWorld-approved list of 12 names to choose from and answered orally. They were asked the question: “Among the names found in this list, who will you probably vote for as president of the Philippines if elections were held today?”

The list was in alphabetical order and included nicknames as what the Commission on Elections does during election day.

CLOSE RACE
Edmund S. Tayao, political science professor at the University of Santo Tomas, said the top three presidential candidates are “statistically tied.”

“The difference is not conclusive enough, the margin is not huge,” Mr. Tayao said in a text message, adding that the survey indicates “a very close fight” among the three.

In a separate interview, Roland G. Simbulan, Center for People Empowerment in Governance vice chairman and University of the Philippines professor, said the survey results show a neck-and-neck battle among the three.

“The more candidates to choose from, the more the results will even out,” Mr. Simbulan added, noting that in the 1992 elections Fidel V. Ramos won by a close shave.

Meanwhile, Mr. Tayao noted that there are still a number of factors that may affect polls in the next quarters.

He noted that Mr. Roxas, who was endorsed by President Benigno S.C. Aquino III on July 30, is being affected by the administration’s position on issues such as income tax reform and Metro Manila traffic. Mr. Aquino had earlier said he is not in favor of a proposal to lower income tax rates.

As for Ms. Poe, Mr. Tayao said the neophyte senator will continue to face questions about her citizenship and her lack of experience.

On the other hand, one of Mr. Binay’s weaknesses is his failure to address the corruption allegations thrown against him, the UST professor said.

University of the Philippines professor and political analyst J. Prospero E. De Vera II said preferences will still change as the total of the three top choices only constitutes 70% of respondents.

“The real survey will be seen after the deadline of candidacy as the list of choices will include only those who officially filed their candidacy,” he said in a text message.

The filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2016 elections is scheduled from Oct. 12 to 16.

VICE-PRESIDENTIAL SURVEY
Meanwhile, Ms. Poe and Mr. Escudero led the vice-presidential race in the BusinessWorld-SWS September 2015 pre-election survey.

According to a Sept. 2-5 survey among 1,200 respondents nationwide, 27% of registered voters chose Ms. Poe and 20% picked Mr. Escudero -- with sampling error margins of ±3 percentage points for national percentages and ±6 points each for Metro Manila, “Balance Luzon,” Visayas, and Mindanao.

“This is expected,” Mr. Tayao said as only the names of Ms. Poe, who was being wooed by the Liberal Party as Mr. Roxas’ running mate, and Mr. Escudero had been floated as vice-presidential candidates.

Mr. Escudero last week announced he was running as Ms. Poe’s vice-presidential candidate.

The others in the list obtained single digit scores: Mr. Duterte (9%), Mr. Marcos (7%), Mr. Estrada (7%), Mr. Cayetano (5%), Ms. Legarda (5%), Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto (4%), Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV (4%), Mr. Lacson (3%), Camarines Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Gerona-Robredo (3%), Senator Jose “Jinggoy” E. Estrada (2%), and former Manila mayor and now Buhay Party-list Rep. Jose “Lito” L. Atienza, Jr. (0.9%).

Three percent were undecided.

Respondents were also furnished with a BusinessWorld-approved list of 13 names to choose from and answered orally. They were asked the question: “Among the names found in this list, who will you probably vote for as vice-president of the Philippines if elections were held today?”

The list was in alphabetical order and included nicknames as what the Commission on Elections does during election day.

A primary consideration for Ms. Robredo’s low score is because she’s not a “national figure,” Mr. Tayao said.

He added that if LP choses her to be Mr. Roxas’ running mate, the party needs to “make her a real, viable vice-presidential figure.” She was formally asked by Mr. Roxas last week to be his running mate.

Results of a Sept. 2-5 survey -- where respondents were asked to give up to three names of those they see as “good leaders to succeed” Mr. Aquino -- showed Ms. Poe remained the favored choice among many Filipinos for both the presidency and vice-presidency in the upcoming May 2016 polls, while Mr. Roxas overtook Mr. Binay to place second.

Meanwhile, Senator Gregorio B. Honasan said on Tuesday that he has not considered running for vice-president in 2016, a day after Mr. Binay said the senator is one of three people he is considering as his running mate.

“I have not considered it seriously,” said Mr. Honasan told reporters in the Senate.

Mr. Honasan said there have been no talks between him and Mr. Binay regarding a possible tandem for the 2016 elections.

“I am now the vice-president of UNA (United Nationalist Alliance). Anything I do or say must add value to the presidential bid of the vice-president. I am just helping in his campaign,” added Mr. Honasan.

On Monday, Mr. Binay said Messrs. Honasan and Marcos are being considered as the UNA’s vice-presidential bet.

Mr. Honasan noted a Binay-Marcos tandem would be a “formidable team” and one that would “project unity.”

“The problems of our country are basically economic but I think the first step should be political. Like once and for all deciding when and where to bury President Marcos so the wounds can already be healed. But that’s just me talking,” said Mr. Honasan. -- with Elizabeth E. Escaño