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Duterte leads in new SWS survey

Posted on April 11, 2016

DAVAO CITY Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte has snatched the lead in the race for the presidency, according to results of the latest survey on this matter by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) that also found Senator Grace Poe, Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay and former Interior and Local Government secretary Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas II running neck and neck on his heels.

File photo of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte. BW
The First Quarter 2016 Social Weather Survey -- conducted last March 30-April 2 via face-to-face interviews with 1,500 adults nationwide (of whom 1,377 or 92% are validated voters) and with sampling error margins of ±3 points -- showed Mr. Duterte with a score of 27% outpacing Ms. Poe’s 23%, Mr. Binay’s 20% and Mr. Roxas’s 18%.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago trailed with 3%.

The survey also saw Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. leading in the vice-presidential derby with steady performance, as his closest contender, Senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero, saw his score fall from previous comparative surveys.

In the race for the presidency, Mr. Duterte saw a four-point gain from 23% in the March 8-11 survey -- the last time face-to-face interviews were employed -- but was down four points from 31% in the March 30 Bilang Pilipino-SWS Mobile Survey (that used as panel those who participated in the March 8-11 poll).

Ms. Poe was down six points from 29% in the March 8-11 survey and by 11 points from her 34% in the mobile survey conducted last March 30.

Mr. Binay’s score steadied to 20% in this latest survey from 22% last March 8-11, though it edged up from 17% on March 30.

Mr. Roxas, the ruling party’s standard bearer, also steadied to 18% from 19% last March 8-11 and from 17% last March 30.

Ms. Santiago steadied to 3%, flat from March 8-11, and up from 1% last March 30.

Sought for comment, Edmund S. Tayao, political science professor at the University of Santo Tomas, attributed Mr. Duterte’s surge to the televised presidential debate last March 20 in Cebu City. “The debates would be the only significant explanation there. The voting public seems to have been responding well on what they saw and heard from him during the presidential debates,” Mr. Tayao said in a phone interview on Sunday. “And it’s not just the message that is significant as far as the voting public is concerned now... Mayor Duterte was the coolest among the candidates albeit he relied more on his one-liners. But this seems to have resonated well with the public.”

For Ramon C. Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms, that debate was just one factor. “There is a perception... that his (Mr. Duterte’s) rallies are getting bigger. This indicates that there are funds flowing to sustain his campaign.”

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In the race for the second-highest office of the land, Mr. Marcos -- Ms. Santiago’s running mate -- held his ground at 26% in this latest survey from March 8-11 (25%) and March 30 (also 26%).

Mr. Escudero -- Ms. Poe’s running mate -- lost seven points to 21% from 28% last March 8-11 and 10 points from 31% last March 30.

Administration bet Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo, who at 19% was in a statistical tie with Mr. Escudero, slipped three points from 22% last March 8-11 and fell by six points from March 30’s 25%.

Sen. Alan Peter S. Cayetano -- who is running with Mr Duterte -- steadied to 13% from 12% in March 8-11 and 13% on March 30.

Sen. Gregorio B. Honasan II, who is Mr. Binay’s running mate, steadied to 5% from 4% last March 8-11 but rose four points from 1% last March 30. Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV, who is running on his own, was tied with Mr. Honasan with 5%, flat from March 8-11 and steady from 3% last March 30.

The race for the 12 Senate seats up for grabs has two candidates of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), one from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and one independent bet “in statistical position to take the top four seats,” SWS said, as well as four independent candidates, three LP bets, as well as one each from the United Nationalist Alliance, Akbayan, NPC and LAKAS “in statistical contention for the last eight seats.” -- Alden M. Monzon