Aquino widens survey lead over Villar

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Aquino widens survey lead over Villar
« on: March 06, 2010, 03:02:02 pm »
Aquino widens survey lead over Villar
Philstar.com - Saturday, March 6


MANILA, Philippines - Liberal Party (LP) bet Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has widened his lead over Sen. Manuel Villar of the Nacionalista Party (NP) in the latest survey by Pulse Asia on presidential candidates for the May 10 elections.

Aquino obtained 36 percent against Villar’s 29 percent in the Feb. 21-25 survey results released yesterday.

Still coming in third was former President Joseph Estrada of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino-United Opposition with 18 percent, followed by the administration’s Gilberto Teodoro of Lakas-Kampi-CMD with seven percent.

Aquino improved his lead over Villar, with whom he was “statistically tied” in the January survey of Pulse Asia. Aquino then had 37 percent and Villar 35 percent.

Aquino gained momentum after Villar fell by six percentage points in February.

Estrada, on the other hand, posted the biggest gain of six percentage points in the latest survey.

Teodoro also improved his ratings, posting a gain of two points in the latest survey compared to January.

Pulse Asia said the other presidential candidates registered voter preference of seven percent or less.

Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas came in fifth with two percent, followed by Sen. Richard Gordon of Bagumbayan Party with one percent.

The other candidates who posted less than one percent include Sen. Jamby Madrigal (0.3); environmentalist Nicanor Perlas (0.2 percent); Vetellano Acosta (0.04 percent); and Olongapo City councilor John Carlos de los Reyes of Ang Kapatiran Party (zero percent).

The survey, conducted from Feb. 21 to 25, had included Acosta before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualified the KBL candidate last Thursday.

In the same survey, Aquino remains the favorite in the National Capital Region (NCR), obtaining 40 percent preference from among the upper socioeconomic classes ABC (43 percent) and D (36 percent).

Aquino and Villar received almost the same percentages in balance Luzon (33 percent Aquino; 31 percent Villar) and the Visayas (39 percent Aquino, 38 percent Villar) and among the poorest class E (36 percent Aquino; 33 percent Villar).

In Mindanao, 38 percent of respondents chose Aquino while 31 percent picked Estrada as their presidential bet.

Compared to the January 2010 survey, Pulse Asia said voter support for Aquino is virtually unchanged.

The survey also found that six percent of Filipino voters have yet to decide on their presidential preference or have no preferred candidate if the May 2010 elections were held during the survey period.

As in the previous survey, about the same number of voters with a presidential preference say that they opted for their candidate because he/she is not corrupt (26 percent) and cites his/her caring for the poor (22 percent).

Other reasons cited for preferring a candidate are that he/she can do/ is doing /will do something (14 percent); helps/is helping others (11 percent); is a good person (10 percent) and is used to governing/has experience (seven percent).

On the vice presidential bets, LP’s Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II continued to lead with 43 percent of voter preference.

Villar’s running mate, Sen. Loren Legarda of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, came in second at 27 percent followed by Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay with 15 percent.

The other contenders who obtained voter support of four percent or less were former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando (four percent); Lakas-Kampi-CMD bet actor Edu Manzano (two percent); former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Perfecto Yasay (one percent); broadcaster Jay Sonza (one percent); and Dominador Chipeco (0.1 percent).

Seven percent of voters said they have no vice-presidential preference, Pulse Asia said.

Pulse Asia said Roxas has the advantage over his opponents across areas and socioeconomic classes except in balance Luzon and among the poorest socioeconomic class E, where voter support for him is statistically tied with that for Legarda.

Voter preference for Roxas is marginally higher in balance Luzon (36 percent versus 31 percent), while Legarda has the edge, although marginal, among the poorest class E (39 percent against 35 percent), the polling firm said.

Pulse Asia said preferences for the vice-presidential candidates are virtually unchanged since January, there being but marginal increases and marginal declines even among the top four contenders.

Binay and Fernando both posted marginal increases of two percentage points, while Roxas and Legarda registered marginal declines of four percentage points and one percentage point, respectively.

The non-commissioned survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,800 representative adults 18 years old and above with a plus or minus two percentage points error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.

Confidence level

Aquino and Roxas were both elated with the latest Pulse Asia survey, which they said reflected the people’s hope for change “rather than believe the lies being spread by those who want to destroy us.”

“I am happy because the survey shows the outpouring of support from the people who aim for real change in the country because I won’t stop until we are able to give our fellow Filipinos a leadership that is clean and can be trusted,” Aquino said.

Roxas, for his part, said the pre-election surveys were a strong indication of how voters would pick the country’s second highest elective official in this year’s national elections.

Villar, on the other hand, said he is still satisfied with the latest survey even after falling by six points in ratings against Aquino.

“I’m still happy about it. As I said earlier, as long as the lead is still in the single digit, I’m still happy,” Villar said at a press conference after meeting with local leaders in Davao City.

Legarda, for her part, said the surveys can be used as “gauge” in the campaign. She said surveys mean nothing compared with the support of the people attending their campaign sorties.

The NP said they remain unfazed by the drop in ratings by Villar.

NP spokesperson and senatorial candidate Gilbert Remulla said the elections are still three months away and anything can happen.

Remulla attributed the results of the latest survey to the commemoration of the 24th anniversary of the 1986 People Power revolution, which rekindled the memories of the late former President Corazon Aquino.

“But it should also be pointed out that the survey was conducted on the same week that the nation was commemorating EDSA 1, thus, people were remembering Noynoy’s mother Cory,” he said.

Remulla also pointed out Villar’s ratings also went down in another survey, the Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), as much as 41 points last month.

Aquino spokesman Edwin Lacierta said Remulla “tried to pull off another spin” in citing the TNS survey, and was simply trying to downplay the Pulse Asia survey by citing another.

“The numbers do not correspond with the money dole-out simply because the Filipino people are tired, they want change, and can now smell the stench of corruption no matter how expensive the perfume,” Lacierta said.

On the other hand, Villanueva’s Bangon Pilipinas party (BPP) said the numbers in the latest Pulse Asia survey revealing their presidential candidate in fifth place were “quite improbable.”

“Before the official start of the campaign, Bro. Eddie Villanueva was already at two percent. After visiting key cities and provinces, even Hong Kong where Bangon Pilipinas gathered the biggest crowd... the party just cannot simply believe that ratings would still remain at two percent,” the BPP said in a statement.

The BPP said the survey results run contrary to the outcome of the surveys by other social networks that showed Villanueva remains the popular choice, particularly among Facebook users.

The BPP cited Villanueva’s interviews with the media that he does not believe in surveys.

Villanueva had cited the cases of former President Fidel Ramos and detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV who were both lagging in surveys but won anyway. - With Aurea Calica, Marvin Sy, Evelyn Macairan, Christina Mendez - By Helen Flores (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)
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