MANILA – Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s leadership in the latest Pulse Asia presidential poll marks the first time in the poll’s research that a candidate for Malacañang has emerged as a majority candidate, a company official said Wednesday.
According to a poll of 2,400 respondents from December 1-6, more than half, or 53 percent, said they would elect Marcos as president, while 20 percent said they would elect his rival Vice President Leni Robredo.
According to Pulse Asia, which conducted the poll itself, 97 percent of those polled are registered voters.
“For the first time we have established a majority preference for a presidential candidate. It’s only now 53 percent, ”Ana Maria Tabunda, Executive Director of Pulse Asia, told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
(It’s the first time we’ve had a majority preference for a presidential candidate. Only now have we registered … 53 percent.)
According to Tabunda, not even President Rodrigo Duterte, who had received strikingly positive reviews during his presidency despite some controversy, had such a head start on his opponents before the 2016 elections.
She said Robredo, who won the 2016 vice presidential race against Marcos, has a tough job ahead of him if she is to beat him again.
“The size of the gap (them) … It’s hard to keep track of … The size is such that it’s a bit difficult (to chase them) … Unlike previous elections, the gaps are around 15 percentage points (against opponents),” said Tabunda.
(It’s a huge difference … it’s hard to catch up … because the gap is big … It’s not like previous elections where the difference between the two top candidates was only about 15 percentage points. You can narrow that gap by creating problems poses against the leading competitor.)
When asked if Marcos’ leadership was insurmountable, she said it depends on what issues will be addressed in the next few months before the May 9, 2022 elections, but he still has majority support.
Tabunda cited the petitions filed with the Electoral Commission to disqualify Marcos on several counts, most notably his 1995 conviction of tax evasion.
“We just don’t know what the outcome will be,” she said, adding, “If you want to take him out of the running, that’s the most effective.”
(We can’t be sure what the result is … but if you want him out of the running, that’s probably the most effective way to go.)
Tabunda also noted that despite Duterte’s surprising tirades against Marcos, whose family has supported the chairman since his presidential campaign, the popularity of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s only son and namesake. didn’t hurt.
Duterte called Marcos a “weak leader” while he praised his adviser Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who has since withdrawn his presidential candidacy, as “honest”.
“Mukhang hindi. Ayun ‘yung resulta eh, 53 percent (Not likely. There is the result), ”said Tabunda when asked whether Duterte’s testimony against Marcos had affected his reputation.
If Robredo is to catch up with Marcos, she must continue to set out her achievements and plans, Tabunda said.
“Just keep showing what he’s done, that while he was deprived of resources, he also did a lot as a vice president,” she said.
(She should continue to show her accomplishments that despite lacking resources in office as Vice President, she has done a lot.)
Asked for her comment on Robredo’s successful offer in 2016 despite bad rankings in previous polls, Tabunda said the situation and circumstances were already different.
She cited then-President Benigno Aquino III’s endorsement of Robredo and how the Vice President later became a frequent target of Duterte’s tirades that may have affected her support base.
Regarding the recent ranking of the Mayor of Manila, Isko Moreno Domagoso, who along with Sen. Manny Pacquiao for 8 percent each, Tabunda said: “Someone was beaten … Actually, it’s not because his voter preference is so high in previous polls was. “
(The voters had already made their choice … In fact, he didn’t really have that high voter preference in previous polls.)
Domagoso may want to send a clear message on what it can do compared to its leading competitor and continue its travels across the country if it wants to catch up, the Pulse Asia official said.
Tabunda denied the “mind conditioning” allegations against Pulse Asia, saying that their respondents were randomly selected.
The 2022 contenders have started visiting provinces and contacting various sectors, although the official campaign doesn’t start until February 8 next year.
Comelec has not yet published the final list of the official candidates for the elections on May 9, 2022.