Thursday, 4 February 2010

Aquino, Villar neck-and-neck in latest Pulse Asia survey

It’s a close race
Manila Bulletin

Four months to the May 2010 elections, the presidential contest has become a neck-and-neck race between frontrunner Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and his closest rival, Senator Manuel Villar Jr., with the latest Pulse Asia survey showing Aquino nursing a narrow two percentage lead.

The results of the nationwide survey conducted from January 22 to 26 with 1,800 respondents showed Villar (Nacionalista Party) catching up fast with Aquino (Liberal Party) with ratings of 35 percent and 37 percent, respectively, considered a statistical tie.

Compared to the December 2009 survey, the electorate’s support for Villar improved by 12 percentage points from 23 percent, while preference for Aquino declined by eight percentage points from 45 percent.

Pulse Asia pointed out that the only other presidential candidate with a double-digit preference is former President Joseph Estrada (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino) at 12 percent, although Estrada’s numbers also declined by seven percentage points compared to the December survey.

Across regional areas, Aquino took the lead in the National Capital Region with 38 percent support against Villar’s 24 percent.

The two frontrunners registered nearly the same preference in the rest of Luzon outside of Metro Manila (Aquino, 37 percent; Villar, 36 percent); Visayas (Aquino, 41 percent; Villar, 38 percent); and Mindanao (Villar, 36 percent; Aquino, 33 percent).

Across socio-demographic groups and taking the error margins for the subgroups into account, Aquino led among Class D (40 percent) and among the elderly aged 65 years and over (42 percent).

Meanwhile, Villar led in the 25-34 age group with 42 percent.

Pulse Asia explained that voter preferences for the two leading candidates are essentially the same across other socioeconomic classes and age groups.

Voter preferences for the other presidential candidates did not register marked changes between the two survey periods in December and January. Former Defense Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) has five percent, Jesus is Lord evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva (Bangon Pilipinas) with two percent.

Senator Richard Gordon (Bagumbayan) has one percent, Senator Jamby Madrigal (independent) with 0.5 percent, Olongapo City Councilor JC Delos Reyes (Ang Kapatiran Party) with 0.3 percent, consultant Vetallano Acosta (KBL) with 0.2 percent, and Nicanor Perlas (independent) with 0.05 percent.

In the vice presidential race, nearly half of the voters or 47 percent said they would vote for Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II (LP), while Senator Loren Legarda (NP) ranked second with 28 percent and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay (PDP-Laban) in third place with 13 percent.

Among the vice presidential bets, only Roxas and Legarda registered significant movements in voter preference between Pulse Asia’s December 2009 and January 2010 surveys, with an increase of eight percentage points for Roxas and a decline of nine percentage points for Legarda.

The other vice presidential candidates garnered at most 2 percent voter preference. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando has 2 percent; actor-politician Edu Manzano, 2 percent; former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Perfecto Yasay, 1 percent; broadcaster Jay Sonza, 0.2 percent; and lawyer Dominador Chipeco Jr., 0.07 percent.

Despite its candidate’s narrowing lead, the Liberal Party said it remains confident that Aquino will maintain his lead over Villar.

LP campaign manager Florencio Abad said the survey ratings would change significantly once the public learns about the truth behind the P6.2-billion C-5 Road Extension scandal being linked to Villar.

Abad said Villar’s rating shot up "purely due to his huge war chest,” which he said has enabled the former Senate President to flood the broadcast media with his campaign ads, "a far cry to the little air time that Aquino has been able to get due to limited financial resources."

Villar has reportedly outspent the LP standard bearer with a ratio of seven to one in TV advertisements from January 22 to 24, the period when all of the pre-election surveys were conducted.

"This is a gimmick that private companies usually engage in to improve the ratings of their products in market research services," Abad said.

Abad said the LP will intensify Aquino’s television ads during the campaign period to “stabilize his lead.” (With a report from Kris Bayos)

1 comment:

  1. The 2 are really doing their best to get the voters' attentions. Must strive hard still.