TWO major good news must have made the day of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday.
There were reports that the mayor clinched the support of the influential Iglesia ni Cristo (INC or Church of Christ) as sample ballots were distributed to members of the religious group.
The sample ballots showed the candidates that the INC will carry on May 9, Election Day – Duterte for President and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for Vice President.
There was no official confirmation from the INC, however, Duterte’s camp was also mum on the issue.
Candidates woo the religious group because it is known to vote by bloc. The INC is said to have two million members.
Also on Wednesday, the latest Pulse Asia survey showed the mayor maintaining his lead over other presidential candidates, getting 33 percent voter preference.
The poll, commissioned by ABS-CBN and conducted from April 26 to 29, also showed Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd inching his way up for a statistical tie at second place with Sen. Grace Poe, garnering 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively.
Roxas climbed by two percentage points while the senator shed one percent.
Erstwhile frontrunner Vice President Jejomar Binay, standard-bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), was in third place with 17 percent, also a point less from his previous rating.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago remained at the tail with two percent.
In an interview during a campaign sortie in Northern Luzon, Binay said he no longer cares about the surveys, explaining that the survey results were different from the actual situation in the field.
Pulse Asia polled 4,000 respondents nationwide.
Its survey has a margin of error of 1.5 percent, plus or minus.
Duterte still leads in Mindanao, keeping his 58 percent rating from the previous survey.
He also led in the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) with 40 percent, up sharply from his 34 percent rating in the previous survey.
Metro Manila has 6,253,249 registered voters and Mindanao has 12,629,265.
On the other hand, Poe took Luzon with 28 percent while Roxas has Visayas with 38 percent.
Compared to the last survey, Poe lost a point while Roxas gained one.
Balance Luzon has the biggest number of registered voters, 24,164,541 while Visayas has 11,316,789 registered voters.
By social class, Duterte is the favorite of classes ABC and the biggest voting bloc D (37 percent and 33 percent, respectively) while he shares the statistical lead in Class E.
Poe, however, remained the top alternative candidate for President, according to the survey.
The survey covered both urban and rural respondents, who were adults 18 years old and above, and are also registered voters with biometrics.