Sen. Grace Poe—as expected—continues to lead both the presidential and vice presidential races, according to the latest survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
But what made heads turn in the pollster’s announcement was Vice President Jejomar Binay’s relegation to 3rd place as the administration party’s presumptive standard-bearer, Manuel Roxas 2nd , has moved to 2nd spot in the presidential contest.
The survey, conducted from September 2 to 5 among 1,200 respondents, shows Poe garnering 47 percent in the presidential preference survey. Her rating was a 5 percentage point improvement from her numbers in June.
The survey asked the respondents to give three names of people they see as “good leaders to succeed” President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Poe also leads the race for the presidency with 25 percent, followed by her runningmate, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, with 18 percent.
The survey was conducted over a week before Poe announced her candidacy for President in next year’s elections.
The same presidential preference survey also showed Roxas surging to 39 percent, a big leap from the 21 percent he got in the second quarter survey.
Binay–the most likely opposition standard-bearer–remains “statistically unchanged” at 35 percent. He got 34 percent in last quarter’s survey.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who had announced that he would not be seeking the presidency, was 4th with 16 percent, from 20 percent in June.
Rounding up the placers were: Escudero (6 percent), Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (5 percent), deposed president now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada (3 percent) and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago (2 percent). Former senators Panfilo Lacson and Manuel Villar and Sen Alan Peter Cayetano each got 1 percent.
Vice presidential survey
Escudero had the “most improved” numbers after his 7 percent June ratings, rising by 11 points.
The other potential candidates for Vice President only managed to get single digit percentages, SWS said.
Marcos and Roxas got 6 percent each while Binay had 5 percent. Marcos notched 1 percent in June while Roxas had 12 percent.
Duterte and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano got 3 percent each while Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo–who is being eyed by the Liberal Party to run in tandem with Roxas got 2 percent. Robredo did not score in the last two quarterly surveys.
Rounding up the rear with one percentage point each were: Estrada, Santiago, Lacson, Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, former senator Manuel Villar and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
Unlike the presidential preference poll, the survey respondents were asked to choose only one preferred vice presidential candidate if the elections were held on the day they answered the questionnaire.
Grace ‘humbled,’ Roxas hopeful
Poe said she was “humbled” by the survey results.
“From the bottom of my heart, I thank the Filipino people for their support and trust. I am again humbled that our kababayan [countrymen]continue to appreciate our hard work and the brand of governance that we are upholding and pushing,” she added in a statement.
“Our growing support from the people, as reflected in this survey, is an affirmation that what we have started is on the right track. It’s a validation that our agenda for transparency, efficiency and honesty resonate well with our people,” Poe said.
Roxas, meanwhile, is confident that his ratings will continue to rise before the 2016 elections.
“We believe this is just the start. More issues will be presented to the candidates in the days to come and we are confident that more and more of our people will be able to discern true elections issues from mere mudslinging,” he said in a statement.
Palace credits Aquino
Malacanang attributed the improvement in Roxas’ survey ranking to the endorsement of Aquino.
Both Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. and Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the survey results reflect the public’s belief on his capacity to lead the country after he was endorsed by the President.”
It reflects growing sentiment that he is the best leader to succeed President Aquino in 2016,” Lacierda said.
Ronald Llamas, the President’s political affairs adviser, said the increase in Roxas’ ratings reflect the effectiveness of the Aquino endorsement.
He added that the endorsement galvanized support for Roxas.
Llamas, however, said survey ratings are temporary in nature and are bound to change over time.
“The momentum upward is [more important]. From a low of 4 percent early this year. That’s more important than the absolute numbers,” he added.
Vice President Binay remains unfazed by the SWS survey results, his spokesman said.
The survey will not affect Binay’s “desire” to continue his pro-poor programs will not be affected, Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman on political affairs, said in a statement.
“The Vice President is grateful to the core of supporters who continue to show their trust and full support to him,” he added.
Quoting political analyst Edmund Tayao, Quicho said the survey was “immaterial” because “it only shows that the base of support for Poe and Mar [Roxas’ nickname] is the same.”
“The Vice President’s core supporters remain growing and solid. There will be no changes in the campaign direction and the Vice President will continue to go to the provinces, spend time and talk directly with the people,” Quicho said.
Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, agrees with the Binay camp’s assessment.
He said Binay’s solid core votes were not affected by the supposed anti-corruption campaign against him.
“Evidently, the Vice President has a core vote that were not affected by the alleged corruption issues being linked to him,” Casiple noted.
Escudero expressed doubts over the method the SWS used in its latest presidential preference survey.
“Surveys serve as a guide to all candidates … I just don’t understand why SWS insists on doing a ‘choose 3’ survey in a ‘one-on-one’ position,” he said in a GMA News Online report.
The survey asked the respondents to give three names of people they see as “good leaders to succeed” President Aquino.
Escudero said “the outcome might not be the same for a different question like choose one.”
Trillanes said the survey only gave false hopes to candidates who are lagging behind.
“This just gives false hopes to those faring poorly. The results apparently show the three of them scored high. The candidates are just being taken for a ride,” he said in Filipino.
According to him, the survey has no use at all except for propaganda purposes.
“You can spin it just like how the Roxas camp does it. They can make it appear that they’re getting there, that they’re already neck and neck or that they have overtaken Vice President Binay,” he said.
Casiple said the system used by the SWS has unnecessarily favored candidates on the second and third position.
“I don’t see any logic in asking for three names because people will only be asked to choose one presidential candidate in the election,” he pointed out.
WITH BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON AND LLANESCA T. PANTI