By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times
SURVEY frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. could garner over 36 million votes after he maintained his lead in the presidential race, Pulse Asia said.
Pulse Asia's survey which was released last Wednesday showed Marcos comfortably on top with a 56 percent voter preference.
A distant second was Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo with 24 percent, with Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso ranking third with 8 percent.
Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao was at fourth with 6 percent, while fellow senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson had 2 percent.
In an interview on the SMNI network, Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Tabunda said that if Marcos' 56 percent were converted into votes, it would be equivalent to about 36.5 million of the 65 million voting population.
Tabunda said it was the first time a presidential candidate has consistently maintained a 50-plus edge in voter preference surveys.
Marcos's 32 percent lead over Robredo translates into around 19.5 million votes, which is higher than the more than 16 million votes President Rodrigo Duterte obtained in the 2016 presidential election, she said.
Marcos' domination of the surveys is such that the 4-percent dip in the latest poll hardly makes a dent, Tabunda said.
With a little over a month before the May 9 elections, Robredo must post even bigger increases and Marcos must suffer a huge drop for the vice president to catch up with Marcos. And that is a tall order, she said.
A 32-point gap is big but not insurmountable, Tabunda said.
Marcos spokesman Victor Rodriguez cautioned Marcos supporters and campaigners against being complacent as the election nears.
"We shall not rest until the 70-percent preference survey polls position is attained, until every vote is counted and the aspirations of the Filipino people become a reality," Rodriguez said.
A survey released by Publicus Asia on Friday also had Marcos and his running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio in the lead.
Marcos, the standard bearer of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, garnered 56 percent in Publicus Asia's First Quarter Survey.
Robredo notched 23 percent, and Domagoso 9 percent.
"Marcos, Robredo and Domagoso notched statistically insignificant vote share increases of 1 percent, 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively," as compared to their numbers in the March 9-14 poll," it said.
Five percent of voters said they were still undecided.
Duterte-Carpio had a 58 percent vote share, followed by Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan (15 percent), Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto 3rd (11 percent) and Willie Ong (9 percent).
Duterte-Carpio and Sotto notched negligible 1 percent increases from the March survey.
Pangilinan earned a negligible 2 percent increase, while Ong's numbers dropped by 2 percent.
Publicus Asia said the results of March and April surveys "suggest that there has been no movement in the presidential and vice presidential races between the second week of March and the first week of April, with all candidates failing to record statistically significant increases in their respective vote shares against the survey's 3 percent margin of error."
The pollster said the 1,500 survey respondents were randomly drawn by the Singapore office of American firm PureSpectrum from its market research panel of over 200,000 Filipinos.
In a press statement on Friday, the Marcos camp said the survey Laylo Research did in March indicated that Robredo has been dumped by the ABC income segments of the voting population in favor of Marcos.
In that poll Marcos was the choice of 58 percent of the ABC bracket as against Robredo's 15 percent.
Marcos also tallied 62 percent in Class D and 58 percent in Class E.
Robredo is lagging behind at 19 percent, Domagoso with 9 percent, Pacquiao at 6 percent, Lacson at 2 percent and the undecided at 2 percent.
Laylo also had Marcos ahead in all regions, with 86 percent in the Ilocos Region, 86 percent in the Cordillera Autonomous Region, 84 percent in Cagayan Valley and 62 percent in Central Luzon.
He was also leading in the Davao and the Caraga regions with 80 percent each, Soccsksargen (67 percent), the Zamboanga Peninsula (66 percent), the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (63 percent), and Northern Mindanao (55 percent).
In terms of trust ratings, Marcos had +53, Moreno +16, Robredo -9, Lacson -11 and Pacquiao -23.