Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Aquino widens lead, Villar slips further in new survey

Posted on 11:28 PM, April 06, 2010

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SENATOR BENIGNO SIMEON "Noynoy" C. Aquino III of the Liberal Party (LP) continues to dominate the presidential race, widening his lead over rival Senator Manual "Manny" B. Villar, Jr. of the Nacionalista Party (NP) barely six weeks before the general elections, the latest survey of independent pollster Pulse Asia, Inc. showed.

Pulse Asia’s "Ulat ng Bayan," conducted last March 21-28 and released yesterday, showed that of 3,000 respondents who were asked to indicate their candidate if elections were held today, 37% said they would vote for the only son of the late former president Corazon C. Aquino.

Mr. Aquino’s score is up by a point from a similar survey done last February. His lead over Mr. Villar widened to 12 points, with the NP bet’s score declining by four points to 25% from 29%.

Pulse Asia noted that Mr. Aquino "enjoys a slight to significant lead over the second running contender in almost all areas and socioeconomic classes.

In Metro Manila, Mr. Aquino has 25-point lead over Mr. Villar with a score of 42%. The LP bet is also higher by seven points in Balance of Luzon with a score of 33%; 11 points in the Visayas, 41%, and 14 points in Mindanao, 37%.

In terms of social class, Mr. Aquino has a 32-point lead over Mr. Villar in the ABC bracket with a rating of 49%, 12 points in class D, 37%; and six points in class E, 34%.

Pulse Asia said Mr. Aquino’s scores in economic class E and Mindanao "are statistically close" to those of Mr. Villar (28%) and former president Joseph "Erap" E. Estrada of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (29% for Mindanao).

It also said voter preference for all candidates are statistically unchanged compared to the results of the February survey given the ±2% margin of error.

Meanwhile, Mr. Estrada was third with a flat score of 18%, while that of Gilberto "Gibo" C. Teodoro, Jr. of administration party Lakas-Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) was also unchanged at 7%.

Switching places were Bagumbayan’s Senator Richard "Dick" J. Gordon and Bangon Pilipinas’ Eduardo "Bro. Eddie" C. Villanueva at 2% apiece, with the former Olongapo City mayor gaining a point from the previous survey.

Following them were independent candidate Jesus Nicanor "Nick" P. Perlas, 0.30%; John Carlos "JC" G. delos Reyes of Ang Kapatiran, 0.20%; and Senator Ana Consuelo "Jamby" A. S. Madrigal, another independent candidate, 0.10%.

Vetellano "Dodong" S. Acosta of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), who was disqualified by the Commission on Elections for not running a proper campaign, still obtained 0.08%.

The number of undecided as well as those who refused to answer the survey rose to 9% from 6%.

Vice-presidential race

At the vice-presidential race, Senator Manuel "Mar" A. Roxas II of the LP also widened his lead over Senator Loren B. Legarda of the Nacionalista Party and NP guest candidate, to 20 points from 16 points with scores of 43% and 23%, respectively, from 43% and 27% in February.

Voter preference for Makati Mayor Jejomar C. Binay, Mr. Estrada’s running mate, went up by four points to 19%.

Scores of other vice-presidential candidates barely moved, with former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani "BF" F. Fernando of Bagumbayan scoring 3% from 4%; Eduardo "Edu" B. Manzano of Lakas-Kampi-CMD unchanged at 2%; Perfecto "Kidlat" R. Yasay of Bangon Pilipinas also unchanged at 1%; Jose "Jay" Y. Sonza of KBL dropping to 0.5% from 1%; and Dominador "Jun" F. Chipeco, Jr. of Ang Kapatiran also unchanged at 0.1%.

Sought for comment, Edwin Lacierda, Mr. Aquino’s spokesman, said Mr. Villar’s rating decline could be attributed to rumors that he is the secret candidate of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"The ‘Villaroyo’ tag is clearly not [good for Mr. Villar’s candidacy]. Maybe people are starting to believe that he is the secret candidate of the administration," he said by phone.

"People are really beginning to realize that Senator Aquino has the character to lead the country, that he can deliver a good government."

For his part, NP senatorial bet Gilbert C. Remulla, who speaks on behalf of Mr. Villar, said: "We recognize that we have a lot of work to do. The black propaganda has affected the ratings. We have come back from the Holy Week break and we have recalibrated [our campaign strategies]. We will claim victor on May 10."

A total of 50.7 million registered voters will troop to polling precincts on May 10 to choose the country’s next set of national and local leaders.

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