Pulse Asia: Rally attendees only a fraction of voting population

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 3) — Supporters of some candidates have repeatedly questioned in the past why their massive campaign rallies do not seem to be reflected in Pulse Asia's pre-election survey results. The head of the polling firm pointed out: rally attendees only comprise a fraction of the voting population.

"It's true that the rallies are increasing in terms of the crowd size. That will show to you the number of partisans of the candidates are actually increasing," Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes told CNN Philippines' The Source on Tuesday.

Holmes explained, however, that randomly chosen survey respondents are not necessarily vocal about their support for a candidate on the ground.

"You know, in an election, there are both partisans, there are spectators, and for the most part, many of the voters have not been as manifest in terms of their support," he said. "They had not attended rallies, these are the voters that we capture in randomly done surveys."

He added: "I don't think you can deny the intensity you see in rallies waged by contenders, but the crowd, this would just be a fraction of the voting population."

The April 16-21 Pulse Asia survey showed presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos maintaining his lead while rival Vice President Leni Robredo remained at a distant second, less than a month into the elections. Marcos' running mate Sara Duterte also recorded a wide lead from rivals Tito Sotto and Kiko Pangilinan in the same poll.

Robredo's supporter have previously questioned why her survey rating does not reflect improvement even when crowds have been increasing in her campaign rallies.

In her grand rally in Mandaue City, Cebu on April 21, the crowd was estimated at 150,000. As many as 200,000 attendees were also recorded in her sorties in Batangas, Laguna, and Pampanga on separate occasions. On April 23, organizers estimated up to 400,000 supporters showed up at her grand birthday rally along Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City — her biggest crowd to date.

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

"We will see on May 9 whether the trajectory of the Vice President in terms of the campaign strategies that her team is using will register higher support," Holmes said.

Holmes also noted that regardless of the disproportionate representation of certain sectors, as pointed out by some critics, their survey results are nationally representative of Filipino voters' preferences ahead of voting day.

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