Marcos keeps lead, but Robredo narrows gap in Pulse Asia survey

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 6) — Presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos maintained his lead in the latest Pulse Asia survey, but rival Vice President Leni Robredo narrowed the gap.

According to the survey conducted on March 17-21, Robredo's numbers rose by nine percentage points, the numbers of Marcos declined by four points, while the rest were almost the same.

Robredo's voter preference rating rose to 24% from 15% while that of Marcos fell from 60% to 56%.

Overall, Marcos still topped all major island groups. He scored highest in Metro Manila with 64%. Among the socioeconomic groups, Marcos logged 56% both in Classes C and D, and 52% in Class E.

Robredo, however, tallied big gains among these groups. Compared with the February results, she recorded an improved rating from 17% to 30% in Class C, 14% to 24% in Class D, and 13% to 22% in Class E.

Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Tabunda told CNN Philippines on Wednesday that the decline in Marcos' numbers - specifically observed in Class D - was not significant compared to Robredo's increase, which also occurred among the Class D, and in Balance Luzon and Mindanao.

Tabunda said it's "statistically not impossible" for Robredo to catch up, but it will be a challenge given the overall gap of 32 percentage points between her and Marcos.

"She will need to gain larger increases in voter preference for her to catch up," Tabunda said.

Robredo's camp welcomed the improvement in the vice president's rating, saying the massive support they have been receiving in campaign rallies is already being manifested in surveys.

"The survey numbers are starting to reflect what we have been seeing on the ground all along: the massive crowds, the fierce passion, the untiring commitment of Filipinos from all walks of life, coming together to rally behind Leni Robredo's bid for the presidency," said Atty. Barry Gutierrez, Robredo's spokesperson.

"This 13-point swing going into the last two months of the campaign clearly establishes what we have long known: VP Leni has the momentum, which we expect will only further intensify and accelerate all the way to May 9," he added.

On the other hand, the Marcos camp asked supporters not to be complacent.

"Although 32 days remain before the national and local elections, we entreat our supporters, volunteers, and campaigners to refrain from complacency and remain focus in achieving our common target of 70% presidential preference mark," said the former senator's spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno remained at the third spot with 8% voter share. He was followed by Senator Manny Pacquiao with 6% and Senator Panfilo Lacson with 2%.

Faisal Mangondato (1%), Ernie Abella (0.1%), Jose Montemayor Jr. (0.05%), Leody De Guzman (0.02%), and Norberto Gonzales (0%) are still lagging in the survey.

Vice presidential race

Marcos’ running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte also maintained her lead. Her voter share even increased from 53% to 56%.

The presidential daughter also leads in all island groups and has scored the highest in Mindanao with 83%. Among the socioeconomic groups, she got 63% in Class C, 55% in Class D, and 57% in Class E.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III remains at the second spot with 20%. He was followed by Senator Francis Pangilinan (15%), Willie Ong (5%), Lito Atienza (1%), Manny Lopez (0.3%), Walden Bello (0.1%), Carlos Serapio (0.01%), and Rizalito David (0.01%).

For his part, Sotto said surveys will not determine the results of the May 9 polls.

"Yung mga nanalo sa survey noon nakaraang eleksyon, may nagawa ba para umunlad ang bansa? May katiyakan ba na mababawasan ang mahirap kung sila nga ang manalo?" he said in a statement.

[Translation: Those who topped the surveys in the last elections, have they done anything for the country's progress? Is there any assurance that there will be less poverty if they win?]

Senate race

In the senatorial survey, broadcaster Raffy Tulfo still leads with 65.6%.

Tulfo was followed by Loren Legarda (58.3%), former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (56.4%), former Senator Francis Escudero (54.4%), former Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar (52.4%), and reelectionist Sherwin Gatchalian (50.3%).

Completing the top 12 are Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri (50.1%), Senator Joel Villanueva (43.9%), actor Robin Padilla (42.5%), former Vice President Jejomar Binay (42.5%), former Senator Jinggoy Estrada (36.5%), and former senator JV Ejercito (35.9%).

The survey was conducted via face-to-face interviews with 2,400 respondents aged 18 years old and above. It has a ± 2% error margin at the 95% confidence level and ± 4% error for major island groups covered.

"Pulse Asia Research undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort," the survey firm said.

Pulse Asia's last 2022 pre-election survey is expected to be released in the first week of May and "will be definitely closer to the actual count," according to Tabunda.