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Manila Bulletin : Marcos-Duterte tandem leads in Publicus Asia survey

News & Interviews
19 November 2021

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz | Manila Bulletin

Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte emerged as the top presidential and vice presidential picks, respectively, months before the 2022 elections, an independent and non-commissioned Publicus Asia survey showed.

Publicus Asia polled 1,500 respondents from approximately 200,000 registered voters in the country for the 2021 Pahayag Final List survey conducted from Nov. 16 to 18, after the deadline of substitution on Nov. 15

The survey results released on Friday, Nov. 19, showed that Marcos was the top choice for president with 56.7 percent of the total voter preference.

Vice President Leni Robredo came in 2nd with 15.4 percent.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso was at 3rd place with 6.9 percent.

At 4th place was Senator Christopher “Bong” Go with 4.1 percent of the voter preference.

Publicus Asia said Marcos held a “commanding” lead across all regional groups–50.3 percent in Metro Manila, 60.3 percent in Northern and Central Luzon, 46.2 percent in Southern Luzon, 54.7 percent in the Visayas, and 70 percent in Mindanao.

“His lead is widest in NCL (Northern and Central Luzon) and MIN (Mindanao). It is narrowest in NCR (National Capital Region) and SL (Southern Luzon)–where Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo is polling above the 20 percent mark,” it said.

“Upon comparing the numbers with those obtained from the Pahayag: Q3 survey, we find that BBM (Bongbong Marcos) posted a gain of around 7 percent,” it added.

Publicus Asia noted that Marcos also recorded the highest share of respondents who indicated that they will definitely not change their choice.

Approximately 80 percent of the respondents who chose Marcos can be considered “firm” in their choice.

It said that Vice President Robredo posted similar numbers with close to 60 percent of the respondents who chose her indicating that they are set with their choice and another 18 percent indicating that they will likely not change their choice.

The other candidates polling on or above the 3 percent mark notched markedly lower “firmness” shares than Marcos and Robredo, Publicus Asia explained.

“It is of note, however, that conversion may prove difficult across many who have chosen a particular candidate. Across all candidates, most of those who are not viewed as ‘firm’ in their choice indicated that they are 50-50 at best–rather than inclined to switch. This suggests that conversion may prove difficult moving forward,” it added.

Duterte leads VP bid

Meanwhile, Duterte was the top choice for vice president with 54.4 percent of the total voter preference.

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III was in 2nd place with 10.1 percent of the voter preference–“a sizeable drop from his numbers in Pahayag: Q3.”

Sotto is in a “virtual tie” with Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan (9 percent) and physician Willie “Doc Willie” Ong (8.9 percent).

Publicus Asia pointed out that Duterte is the “most popular” choice for vice president across all regional groups–41.5 percent in Metro Manila, 50 percent in Northern and Central Luzon, 39.7 percent in Southern Luzon, 55.3 percent in the Visayas, and 82.3 percent in Mindanao.

“Her lead over the rest of the field is especially massive in MIN. Her lead is narrowest in NCR and SL,” it said.

Publicus Asia also noted that Duterte “registered the highest share of supporters that indicated that they will not change their choice–with three out of every four indicating that they are set on voting for her.”

“Upon considering those that are likely not going to swap candidates then the share of her “firm” voters is estimated to be around 86 percent,” it added.

Pangilinan notched the second-highest share of “firm” voters at around 70 percent.

Marcos-Duterte most preferred tandem

Moreover, around 42 percent of respondents chose the Marcos-Duterte tandem.

“The popularity of this tandem is at its highest in MIN (58 percent) and at its lowest in SL (30 percent). At 2nd place is the opposition tandem of MLR-FKP (Ma. Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo-Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan) with 7 percent,” Publicus Asia said.

“It is of note that the MLR-FKP tandem breached the double-digit mark in NCR–but polled poorly in MIN. All other tandems on offer notched sub-5 percent levels,” it added.