Friday, December 18, 2009

Jinggoy leads ‘Magic 12,’ odds heavy vs new bets — poll

By Charlie V. Manalo

Original Story:

All six senators who are running for reelection in next year’s polls are sure of retaining their seats and will most likely be joined in the upper chamber by four former senators and two members of the House of Repre-sentatives when the 15th Congress
opens on July 19, 2010.

The Issues and Advocacy Center (The Center) yes-terday released the results of its nationwide sur-vey on senatorial preferences con-ducted last Dec. 2 to 6 with some 1,200 respondents that cut across all demographic lines.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who has been topping the past and previous surveys conducted by The Center, is still the most favored among the senatorial aspirants with 53 percent or 636 of those surveyed saying they will vote for the young Estrada if elections
were held that day of polling.

A close second with 50 percent is Sen. Pia Cayetano while Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago ranked third with 49 percent.

Ed Malay of The Center, however, said Estrada’s lead, although consistent, is still insignificant since all three are deemed tied if the margin of error of + 4 percent is applied.

All three are expected to figure in the race for top honors given the fact that Estrada, Cayetano and Santiago have been consistently occupying the top three places in the same order in the past surveys of The Center.

The other incumbent senators who, according to The Center, are assured of getting re-elected are Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. (46 percent), Lito Lapid (37 percent) and Juan Ponce Enrile (36 percent).

Also in the list of favored senatorial aspirants are former Senators Frank Drilon (47 percent), Sergio “Serge” Osmeña (44 percent), Ralph Recto (44 percent), Vicente “Tito” Sotto III (41 percent) and Representatives Teofisto Guingona Jr. (40 percent) and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos (35 percent).

The Center said the question presented to the survey respondents was who among the 52 names appearing in the list of senatorial aspirants will they vote for if elections were held today.

The respondents were asked to write down the number corresponding to the names of the 12 senatorial aspirants that they will vote for.

Rounding up the next 12 choices of the respondents are Rep. Rozzano “Ruffy” Biazon (30 percent), Sonia Roco (27 percent), lawyer Adel Tamano (25 percent), Brig. Gen. Danilo “Danny” Lim (24 percent), Ramon “Mon-Mon” Mitra (24 percent), Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello (23 percent), Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel (22 percent), broadcaster Rey Langit (21 percent), Rep. Satur Ocampo (21 percent), Rep. Liza Maza (21 percent), Susan Ople (20 percent) and former Rep. Gilbert Remulla (19 percent).

According to Malay, the senatorial race will be interesting when the official campaign period for national candidates starts on Feb. 10, 2010 and while there certainly will be some movements when it comes to the positioning even for those in the top six slates, the chances of those in the seventh to 12th positions will depend on a large degree on their campaign strategy and their political network and this is the same with those who are currently ranked from the 13th to 24th positions.

Of the 12 senatorial aspirants who, according to The Center, are assured of winning, seven are from the opposition (Estrada-Partido ng Masang Pilipino, Cayetano-Nacionalista Party, Drilon-Liberal Party, Recto-NP, Guingona-LP, Enrile-PMP and Marcos-NP).

Even more interesting will be the fight for the Senate presidency once the smoke of the 2010 electoral battle clears and much will depend on the numbers that each of the political parties will be able to send to the Senate to join the rest of the incumbent senators whose term will end in 2013 (Senators Edgardo Angara, Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino, Joker Arroyo, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Francisco Pangilinan, Manuel Villar, Antonio Trillanes and Juan Miguel Zubiri.)

Aquino, Legarda and Villar will reassume their posts as senators in the event that one or two of them lose in the higher position they are running for in 2010.

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