The Manila Times : Bongbong, Sara lead OCTA survey

By Catherine S. Valente and Kaithreen Cruz | The Manila Times

PRESIDENTIAL candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and his running mate, Sara Duterte-Carpio, maintained their steady lead in the OCTA Research pre-election survey conducted from April 22 to 25.

Marcos received support from 58 percent of the respondents, posting a 33 percent lead against his closest opponent Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo who garnered 25 percent of voter share in the survey results.

Support for the former senator was highest in the Visayas at 62 percent, followed by Balance Luzon at 59 percent, Mindanao at 56 percent, and the National Capital Region (NCR) at 46 percent. He was also the preferred candidate across socioeconomic classes with 60 percent among those in D, 54 percent in E, and 53 percent among those from ABC.

He was also the top bet across age groups at 61 percent for 18 to 24 years old, 25 to 34 years old, and 55 to 64 years old; 58 percent for the 45 to 54 years old; 55 percent for the 35 to 44 years old; 54 percent for the 65 to 74 years old; and 53 percent for the 75 years old and above.

Meanwhile, support for Robredo was at 28 percent each from Balance Luzon and the Visayas, followed by NCR with 19 percent and Mindanao with 12 percent. Support for her ranges from 21 percent to 30 percent across all age groups, while her voter preference share for socioeconomic classes ABC was at 32 percent, 28 percent for E, and 23 percent for D.

Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso got 8 percent, followed by Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao at 5 percent, Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson at 2 percent, former Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella at 1 percent, Faisal Mangondato at 0.2 percent, and labor leader Leodegario "Ka Leody" de Guzman with 0.2 percent.

Only 0.4 percent of the respondents refused to give an answer on who they will likely vote for, don't know who they will vote for, or will not support any of the presidential bets.

The survey results also showed that Domagoso and Robredo were in a statistical tie at 12 and 11 percent, respectively, for the second choice presidential candidate if the respondent's initial bet will not continue their candidacy.

'Black swan'

A political analyst said that survey frontrunner Marcos is unbeatable even if some presidential candidates will consider withdrawing or endorsing his closest rival.

In a television interview, political analyst Edmund Tayao said that the basis of support can be seen in surveys and not in the political rallies of the candidate.

"All the tailenders, even if you put their numbers together, will not be enough to unseat or to overcome the lead of the frontrunner," Tayao said.

"Many of those attending the rallies are also the ones attending previous rallies. So, it's difficult to determine whether the massive attendance represents the support of a particular candidate in the particular area where the rally is being held," he added.

Based on the result of the surveys, Tayo said that Marcos who is number 7 in Comelec official ballot, and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, are the sure winners in the presidential and vice presidential elections.

"I was asked several times on what could be the reason [to change the outcome of elections], the answer there is a "black swan." I mean something that is unexpected. I can just hope and pray that if there will be a black swan, it will not be as disturbing," Tayao said.

Black swan is a metaphor based on an ancient saying that presumed black swans "did not exist."

Just like other political experts, Tayao believed that Marcos would win by a huge margin against his closest rival, Robredo.

"If our reference, and the only reference we have is the survey, it seems that the vice president will really have to settle in second place," the political analyst noted.

On Monday, Marcos scored 56 percent voter preference in the last Pulse Asia survey conducted with 2, 400 respondents in April 16- 21.

Marcos also obtained 56 percent voter preference in the March survey of Pulse Asia and stayed the huge leader in the presidential derby with 33 percentage lead against Robredo who only scored 23 percent, a drop of one percent compared to her 24 percent voter preference last March.

Pacquiao is in distant third with 7 percent, while Domagoso, dropped to number four position with 4 percent, and Lacson in fifth with 2 percent.

"This has been the trend all along since the filing of candidacy. I don't remember any instance, not any other candidate, not VP Leni, Not Mayor Isko, Not Manny Pacquaio led in the surveys," Tayao said.

"It's quite unprecedented because it's difficult to just compare the current survey to all previous elections considering that it's the first time that a frontrunner would net more than 50 percent of all the respondents," he added.

Tayao also debunked the statement of some camps discrediting the credibility of the survey firms in the country.

"In all the elections that we had, I don't remember any other reference that we used to determine who may have an edge or who has an advantage in a particular area or region, other than the surveys," he said.

"If we go back to all the previous elections, the results of the election have always been consistent with the numbers in the survey," Tayao added.

Meanwhile, Duterte-Carpio was supported by 56 percent of the respondents, leading the vice presidential survey by 34 percent against Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto 3rd who was in second place with 22 percent.

Support for the Davao City mayor was highest in Mindanao at 82 percent, followed by the Visayas at 61 percent, Balance Luzon at 49 percent, and 48 percent in NCR. She was also the top vice presidential bet across socioeconomic classes with 58 percent among D, 53 percent among E, and 47 percent among ABC.

Sotto, on the other hand, received a 23 percent voter preference share among respondents in NCR, 25 percent in Balance Luzon, 21 percent in the Visayas, and 10 percent in Mindanao. Across socioeconomic classes, he received support from 25 percent of respondents in E, 22 percent in D, and 20 percent in ABC.

Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan received support from 16 percent of respondents, Dr. Willie Ong got 4 percent, Buhay party-list Rep. Jose "Lito" Atienza 1 percent, Manny Lopez 0.1 percent, former Akbayan Party-list Rep. Walden Bello 0.03 percent, and Carlos Serapio 0.001 percent.

Meanwhile 1.3 percent of the respondents refused to give an answer on who they will likely vote for, don't know who they will vote for, or will not support any of the vice presidential bets.

According to OCTA Research, voter preference share for both frontrunners barely moved compared to the April 2 to 5 survey of the pollster.

Broadcaster Raffy Tulfo was the top Senate candidate in the survey with 63 percent voter preference, followed by former Public Works and Highways secretary Mark Villar with 55 percent, Antique Rep. Loren Legarda, 51 percent, Sen. Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri, 49 percent, Sorsogon Governor Francis "Chiz" Escudero, 46 percent, and actor Robin Padilla with 44 percent.

Those who received at least 30 percent voter preference in the senatorial survey were Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (40 percent) Sen. Sherwin "Win" Gatchalian (39 percent), Sen. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva (36 percent), former senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada (33 percent), Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito (31 percent), Sen. Ana Theresia "Risa" Hontiveros (31 percent), and former vice president Jejomar "Jojo" Binay (31 percent).

For party-lists, the pollster reported seven groups that were able to garner support from at least 2 percent of respondents, which is the threshold for at least a seat in the House of Representatives.

These are ACT-CIS (13.58 percent), Tingog (5.89 percent), AKO Bicol (5.20 percent), Probinsyano Ako (4.17 percent), PBA (3.22 percent), 4PS (2.93 percent), and Uswag Ilonggo (2.85 percent).

OCTA Research surveyed 2,400 respondents nationwide, with respondents being 18 years old and above who are registered voters and are likely to vote in the upcoming May 9 polls. The results of the survey have a ±2 percent margin of error.

OCTA Research Senior Fellow Ranjit Rye reminded the public to exercise their right to vote on May 9 and to vote based on their personal preference and not based on survey results.

"Kapag lumabas tayo kasama ng ating pamilya, lagi tayong mag-iingat — ang pagsunod sa minimum public health standards — at lagi nating isipin na ang boto natin ay hindi para sa kandidato kung 'di para sa ating bayan. Kapag bumoto tayo, importanteng tingnan natin hindi lang ang ating interes pero interes ng buong bansa…at huwag na huwag nating gawing basehan ang survey results para sa ating boto (When we go out with our families [to vote], we must always be careful — following minimum public health standards — and we must always think that our vote is not for the candidate but for our country. When we vote, it is important that we look at not only our interests but the interests of the whole country… and never use survey results as the basis for our vote)," he added.

Dr. Guido David, another senior fellow at OCTA Research also urged the voting public to cast their vote on Monday.