Monday, March 8, 2010

Aquino leads Villar by a hair

Original Story:

SENATORS Benigno Aquino III and Manuel Villar Jr. remained locked in a statistical tie, 34 percent to 32 percent, in Manila Standard’s latest nationwide survey, in contrast to a Pulse Asia poll that showed Aquino pulling ahead.

The Manila Standard survey, conducted between Feb. 20 and 26, asked 2,500 registered voters to cast their ballots for the positions of president, vice president and senators in a way that simulated actual voting in the coming automated elections in May.

By contrast, a Feb. 21 to 25 survey by Pulse Asia of 1,800 respondents showed Aquino ahead, and by 36 percent to 29 percent.

The Standard’s February poll showed that the race for the presidency continued to be tight, with Aquino and Villar losing 2 percentage points each from the January survey, said Standard resident pollster Pedro Laylo Jr.

News of a Senate censure of Villar for his alleged role in irregularities in the C-5 road expansion project did not seem to affect their respective standings.

Deposed President Joseph Estrada’s 16 percent was a slight improvement from his 13 percent vote share in January.

Administration bet Gilberto Teodoro moved up 1 percentage point to 6 percent, while Senator Richard Gordon gained 2 percentage points to get 3 percent. Evangelist Eddie Villanueva was unchanged at 2 percent.

The Standard poll used the latest Commission on Elections ballot format to gather voter preferences for the national elective posts. Some 5 percent who did not shade the ovals corresponding to their preferences were considered undecided.

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

By major areas, Aquino remained the preferred choice in Metro Manila, Southern Luzon and in the Visayas, while Villar continued to lead in North and Central Luzon, although their support in those areas had somewhat tapered, Laylo said.

There was a slight change in Mindanao, with Aquino edging out Villar and Estrada gaining a few percentage of the votes, apparently at Villar’s expense.

Teodoro won extra votes in Metro Manila and South Luzon, while Gordon gained in North and Central Luzon, which had the highest proportion of undecided voters.

By economic class, there was an 8-point spread between Aquino and Villar in the upper and middle classes in favor of the son of the late President Corazon Aquino; a 4-point difference between the two in favor also of Aquino among the poor classes; and effectively a tie between them among the destitute.

By age group, Aquino and Villar were in a dead heat among the young voters aged 18 to 24, and among mature voters 45 and older. Villar led slightly among those aged 25 to 34, while Aquino enjoyed a good lead among those in the 35 to 45 age bracket.

Estrada posted a slight vote gain among the very poor and among males, while Teodoro picked up more votes in the 35 to 45 age bracket.

Original Story:

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