Liberals still dominate senatorial race
in April 1 mobile survey

Posted on April 09, 2016

IN CONTRAST to the ruling Liberal Party’s recent standing in the presidential surveys, the Liberals remain the predominant bloc in the senatorial race -- with seven of their candidates dominating the so-called Magic 12 roster, according to the latest Bilang Pilipino-Social Weather Stations Mobile Survey.

The April 1 poll, as in previous mobile surveys, used a nationally representative sample of 1,200 validated voters, of whom 727 or 61% responded. The survey had a sampling error margin of 4% for national percentages.

The seven LP candidates in the Magic 12 are reelectionist Franklin M. Drilon (1), former senator Francis N. Pangilinan (2), reelectionist Ralph G. Recto (4-5), Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel of Akbayan-LP (4-5), former senator Panfilo M. Lacson (6), Leila M. de Lima (8-10), and Emmanuel Joel Villanueva (12).

Mr. Recto is also an adopted candidate of Senator Grace Poe’s Partido Galing at Puso (PGP) coalition, while Mr. Lacson, who is running as an independent, is also included in the senatorial slate of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

Completing the top 12 candidates are reelectionist Vicente C. Sotto III (3), former senators Richard J. Gordon (7) and Juan Miguel F. Zubiri (8-10), Sherwin T. Gatchalian (8-10), and reelectionist Sergio dlR. Osmeña III (11).

Messrs. Gordon, Osmeña, and Zubiri are running as independents, but Mr. Gordon is also included in the UNA slate, and Mr. Zubiri, in the UNA and PGP slates.

Mr. Gatchalian of the PGP is also a candidate of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, which endorsed Ms. Poe as its presidential candidate last February. Mr. Sotto is a candidate of the NPC, PGP, and UNA.

Of the top 12 candidates, Mr. Osmeña and Ms. Hontiveros saw significant changes in their rankings. Mr. Osmeña’s rank slipped to 11 in the March 18 survey from 8 and 6-7 in two earlier surveys that month.

Ms. Hontiveros, who is in her third senatorial bid, rose to 6-7 in the March 8-11 from 11 in the March 4-7 survey; she has since climbed up to 4-5 in the latest poll. She ranks fourth among women voters at 58% and eighth to ninth among men at 50%, about two ranks behind Ms. de Lima’s sixth-place ranking at 53%.

From seventh place in the March 4-7 survey, UNA candidate and world-famous boxer Emmanuel D. Pacquiao slipped to 11 in the March 8-11 survey and is now at 13 in the latest survey.

Manila Vice-Mayor Francisco M. Domagoso of the PGP and Partido ng Masang Pilipino and reelectionist Teofisto dL. Guingona III of the Liberal Party are at 14-15, followed by Eduardo B. Manzano of the PGP (16) and Mark T. Lapid of Aksyon-LP (17).

Besides Mr. Guingona, also outside the Magic 12 are LP candidates Carlos Jericho L. Petilla (22-24), Nariman Ambolodto (31-36), and party-list congressman Cresente C. Paez (48-50).

Mr. Drilon is the front-runner in the Visayas and Mindanao at 65% and 59%, whereas Mr. Sotto is the front-runner at 72% in the National Capital Region, a long-acknowledged opposition bailiwick regardless of administration. Mr. Sotto ties with Mr. Pangilinan as the front-runners in Balance Luzon (65%) and among urban voters (63%).

The survey noted, among other trends, that “Pacquiao’s weakness in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon was compensated by his 3-4 th place in Mindanao and 12th place in the Visayas.”

“Guingona’s borderline position nationwide was due to his 12th place in Mindanao, despite him not making the magic 12 elsewhere,” the survey also noted.

“Domagoso’s 9-10th place in Metro Manila compensated for his weakness elsewhere.”

“Villanueva’s 11th place in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon serve to offset his 15th place in Mindanao, and 13-14th in the Visayas.”

“In urban areas, all of the top 12 candidates made it to the magic circle of 12. In rural areas, Pacquiao made it to the last seat at the expense of Villanueva,” the survey said.

Mr. Drilon tops the rural vote at 65% and the D votes at 64%. At 56%, he ties with fellow Liberal Mr. Pangilinan as the front-runners among Class E voters. Mr. Gordon tops the ABC vote at 72%.

“All of the top 12 candidates made it to the magic circle of 12 in class D. In class E, Pacquiao made it to the magic 12 at the expense of Villanueva. In class ABC, Guingona made it to the top 11, while Gatchalian took 17-18th place,” the survey said.

In terms of age groups, Mr. Pangilinan is in first to second place among the 18-24 and 35-44 age groups, while Mr. Drilon is in the lead among the 25-34, 45-54, and 55+ age groups.

Mr. Sotto, who places third in the national rank, is at second to third place among the 45-54 and 55+ age groups. He places ninth to tenth in the 18-24 age group and fifth to sixth in the 25-34 age group.

“All of the national top 9 candidates made it to the magic circle of 12 regardless of who the respondents chose among the Presidential candidates,” the survey said.

“Among those who chose Poe, Manzano and Domagoso made it to the circle of 12, at the expense of Lacson and Villanueva.

“Among those who chose Duterte, Pacquiao took the last seat, at the expense of Villanueva.

“Among those who chose Roxas, Guingona made it to the magic 12, at the expense of Gatchalian.

“Among those who chose Binay, Pacquiao and Domagoso made it to the magic 12, at the expense of Hontiveros and Villanueva.

“Among those who chose Santiago, [Leyte Representative Martin G.] Romualdez [of Lakas] made it to the magic 12, at the expense of Osmeña.”

Seventy percent (70%) of respondents have a full slate of 12 names, the survey said of its fill-up rate. Two percent are voting six to seven candidates and 1% are voting three to five candidates.

On the importance of voting receipts, 63% regard this feature as very important; 19%, somewhat important; 4%, somewhat unimportant; and 3% very unimportant. Two percent don’t know and 9% are undecided.

In a related development, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in a statement said its Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) are ready for the 30-day overseas voting period for the 2016 elections which will commence on Saturday, April 9, and end on May 9 at 5:00 p.m. Philippine time.

The DFA said there are 1,376,067 registered overseas voters, and noted this is the first time since the start of overseas voting in 2004 that the number exceeds the one million mark.

Thirty (30) FSPs with a total of some 1.12 million voters will do automated vote counting, while 52 FSPs with a total of about 183,000 voters will do manual vote counting.

But voting in Baghdad, Damascus and Tripoli is suspended due to the current policy calling for mandatory evacuation of Filipino citizens, the DFA said.

“After intensive training and detailed preparations, the DFA personnel and its Foreign Service Posts are ready to undertake this historic exercise. The new Vote Counting Machines (VCM) will be put to test by our Posts and Filipino overseas voters. I am confident that our overseas Filipinos will avail [themselves] of this opportunity to play a huge role in strengthening our democracy by exercising their right to vote,” stated Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras said in the statement.

“Since overseas Filipinos are considered to be their family’s bread winners, it is not a stretch to surmise that each overseas Filipino can influence the vote of at least three family members. Thus, the 1.3 million active registered overseas voters are roughly equivalent to 5.2 million votes. This is a definite game changer for Philippine politics,” the statement also quoted Undersecretary Rafael E. Seguis, DFA-OVS (Overseas Voting Secretariat) chairman, as saying.

All registered overseas Filipino voters may coordinate with the nearest Philippine Foreign Service Post or Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) on the voting procedures,” the statement said.

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