By Kaithreen Cruz | The Manila Times
(UPDATE) PRESIDENTIAL candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio maintained their leads in the pre-election survey of Publicus Asia conducted from March 9 to 14.
Marcos was the preferred candidate of 55.1 percent of respondents, an increase of 2.8 percent from the previous survey in February.
The former senator posted a 34.1 percent lead against his closest opponent, Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo, who received support from 21 percent of respondents. She was followed by Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso at 8.2 percent, Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson at 4.2 percent, Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao at 1.8 percent, labor leader Leodegario "Ka Leody" de Guzman at 0.7 percent, former Palace spokesman Ernesto "Ernie" Abella at 0.5 percent and former Defense chief Norberto Gonzales at 0.3 percent.
"Marcos holds statistically significant leads over Robredo across regional groups. His lead is narrowest in Southern Luzon and widest in Mindanao. Marcos appears to have pulled past Robredo in the National Capital Region (NCR), where the two notched statistically equivalent preference shares in the preceding survey round," Publicus said in a statement.
Marcos received support from 48.9 percent of respondents in NCR, 19.5 percent in Northern and Central Luzon (NCL), 44.5 percent in Southern Luzon, 52.7 percent in the Visayas and 67.3 in Mindanao. Meanwhile, Robredo got 28.3, 19.5, 30.5, 19.1 and 10.2 percent, respectively, in NCR, NCL, Southern Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
Across socioeconomic classes, Marcos was still the top pick for class ABC with 52.1 percent, class D at 54.6 percent and class E at 65.6 percent. Robredo's support among class ABC was at 25.9 percent, 21.1 percent from class D and 8.3 percent in class E.
Publicus chief data scientist and head of polling operations Dr. David Yap Jr. also criticized the attempt to promote data on Google Trends and social media engagement as accurate indicators of voter sentiment.
"I would go so far as to say that using Google Trends searches and social media engagements as barometers of voter preference is lazy thinking. I think it's instructive to point out that Google Trends in itself points out that the statistics they post, or the statistics they give out to the public, are not to be confused with polling data," he added.
Yap explained that engagement data does not provide the one-is-to-one comparison between a registered voter and their electoral preferences, which is what an electoral survey shows.
Meanwhile, Duterte-Carpio also received support from 56.5 percent of respondents, up by 3 percent from the previous survey held last February.
She posted a wider lead — 43.7 percent — over her closest opponent Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, who garnered support from 12.8 percent of respondents.
Dr. Willie Ong received 10.6 percent, Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto 3rd got 9.9 percent, former Akbayan party-list representative Walden Bello, 0.9 percent and Buhay party-list Rep. Jose "Lito" Atienza, 0.7 percent.
Pangilinan, Ong and Sotto were statistically tied in second place.
"Duterte-Carpio holds statistically significant leads over the second-place candidates in all regional groups. Her leads are especially large in NCL at 42 percent, the Visayas at 44 percent and Mindanao at 75 percent. Competition among the second-place candidates appears to be preventing any of them from catching up to the Davao City Mayor," Publicus said.
Moreover, returning Senate candidates Sorsogon Gov. Francis "Chiz" Escudero and Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano led the senatorial survey after garnering support from 48.8 and 41.6 percent of the respondents, respectively.
They were followed by Antique Rep. Loren Legarda (39.5 percent), broadcaster Raffy Tulfo (38.4 percent), Sen. Sherwin "Win" Gatchalian (38.3 percent), former Public Works and Highways secretary Mark Villar (34.9 percent), Sen. Ana Theresia "Risa" Hontiveros (32.2 percent), Sen. Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri (31.2 percent) and lawyer Jose Manuel "Chel" Diokno (29.5 percent).
"Nine to 10 candidates are vying for ranks 10 through 12 — with preference shares that are reasonably close to 23.3 percent. In this cluster of candidates are reelectionists Sen. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva (25.9 percent) and Sen. Richard "Dick" Gordon (23.9 percent), returning senators Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito (22.7 percent) and former Information and Communication Technology secretary Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan 2nd (19.1 percent) and former vice president Jejomar "Jojo" Binay (21.1 percent)," the pollster said.
Others included in the Top 19 were lawyer Lorenzo "Larry" Gardon (25.1 percent), actor Robinhood Ferdinand "Robin" Padilla (25 percent), former Palace spokesman Herminio "Harry" Roque Jr. (24.7 percent), former Defense secretary Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro (23.3 percent) and former Quezon City mayor Herbert "Bistek" Bautista (22.1 percent).
Meanwhile, eight party-list groups received support from at least 2 percent of respondents, the threshold to secure at least one seat in Congress.
These were ACT-CIS with 5.1 percent, Gabriela with 3.9 percent, Kabayan with 3.8 percent, Ako Bicol with 3.7 percent, United Senior Citizen at 3.1 percent, Kamalayan at 2.7 percent, Ako OFW at 2.5 percent and AGAP at 2.3 percent.
Publicus Asia Inc. surveyed 1,500 registered voters from a panel marketplace of 200,000 Filipinos maintained by Purespectrum for the latest Pahayag Nation Election Tracker Survey. It said that the national sample margin of error for the results is ±3 percent.