Marcos, Robredo barely move in final Pulse Asia survey, but Pacquiao overtakes Isko in 3rd spot

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 2) — A latest independent presidential preference survey showed former senator Bongbong Marcos maintained his lead while Vice President Leni Robredo was at a distant second less than a month into the elections.

Senator Manny Pacquiao edged Manila Mayor Isko Moreno out of third spot, while the rest of the candidates followed suit with a single-digit score.

In the April 16-21 survey published by the pollster on Monday, Marcos retained his 56% preference rating, while Robredo followed with a 23% score, 1% lower than her March rating.

Pacquiao placed third with a 7% rating, 1% higher than his score in March. Moreno recorded a 4% score, significantly lower than his 8% rating in March.

Sen. Ping Lacson continues to lag behind his key rivals with a 2% score, followed by Ernie Abella (1%), Faisal Mangondato (1%), Leody de Guzman (0.3%), Norberto Gonzales (0.1%), and Jose Monetemayor (0.1%).

Among the vice presidential candidates, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is still the most preferred bet with a 55% rating, followed by Senate President Tito Sotto (18%), Sen. Kiko Pangilinan (16%), Dr. Willie Ong (3%), and Manny Lopez (1%) rounding up the Top 5.

Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza fell from the fifth to the sixth spot with a 0.5% rating, followed by Walden Bello (0.4%), Carlos Serapio (0.3%), and Rizalito David (0.1%).

Easter media briefing, junked Marcos DQ case among key developments

Pulse Asia listed the controversial joint Easter media briefing of presidential candidates as one of the key developments that took place during the conduct of the survey.

On April 17, Moreno called on Robredo to withdraw from the race, claiming that whatever she is doing is "not effective against Marcos." Moreno, along with Lacson and Gonzales, stressed that they are not going to quit the race despite supposed calls from Robredo's camp to do so.

RELATED: Moreno calls on Robredo to withdraw

Pacquiao, who was initially invited to the presser, did not show up. He and the two other candidates distanced themselves from Moreno's withdrawal call.

Other developments cited by the pollster were the dismissal of Marcos' last disqualification case and the Bukidnon shooting that nearly hit De Guzman during his visit to an indigenous community, among others.

RELATED: Comelec division junks last disqualification case vs Marcos

More educated voters rooting for UniTeam

Marcos also shows a wide lead from his main contender among voters grouped according to their educational attainment. Among voters with no formal education or have only reached elementary level, he got a 49% rating. He scored 58% both among voters who completed up to high school and up to college, 52% among those who took vocational courses, a higher score of 60% among those who went to but did not finish high school, and 61% who underwent but did not finish college.

Marcos' running mate Duterte also scored a 49% rating among voters with no formal education, 57% for both voters who finished up to high school and up to college, 59% among those who took vocational courses, 53% among those who went to but did not finish high school, and 68% among those who went to but did not finish college.

Their lead across these areas is more than half of their main rivals Robredo and Sotto, respectively.

Marcos and Duterte also recorded a wide lead over the other candidates among all socioeconomic classes (ABC, D, D1, D2, and E), locations (NCR, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao), and age groups (18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65 & up).

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

First PH elections that surveys could be proven wrong?

In a social media post, Romulo Virola, former secretary general of the National Statistical Coordination Board, pointed out some “flaws” in the Pulse Asia survey that, if “rectified,” could result in a Robredo win.

“Well, for president, I think yes, this might be the first time this would happen in the Philippines,” he told CNN Philippines when asked if these elections could prove surveys to be wrong.

The flaws he noted were the underrepresentation of the 18-41 age group and overrepresentation of the 58 or over age group; underrepresentation of those who reached college and overrepresentation of those who did not reach college; and underrepresentation of those who belong to the ABC socio-economic classes and overrepresentation of those belonging to the DE classes combined.

“I would like to emphasize that polls, although they have good track record -- most of them have good track records -- they have failures in the past,” Virola said.