MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Has Vice President Jejomar Binay weathered the worst political storm yet that could affect his chances in the 2016 presidential elections? Or is his political base slowly getting eroded?
The latest Pulse Asia nationwide survey obtained by Rappler shows Binay shedding off an additional 5 percentage points in the presidential race – from 31% in September to 26% in November 2014.
Office of the Vice President’s (OVP) Media Affairs head Joey Salgado downplayed the survey results, saying the 5% decline “is marginal, according to Pulse Asia.”
The survey had 1,200 respondents with a ±3 margin of error. It was conducted from November 14-20 and listed 14 names for respondents to choose from. On the other hand, the September survey had 15 potential presidential candidates.
At the time of the survey, Binay had just backed out from a scheduled debate with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, preferring instead to barnstorm around the country.
The Vice President has been battered with allegations of corruption during his term as Makati mayor. His former ally, former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, has been unleashing one exposé after another – from hidden bank accounts to alleged kickbacks from overpriced construction projects and alleged ill-gotten wealth. He has alleged that these anomalies are perpetuated by the Binay dynasty in Makati.
Salgado brushed these aside, saying the results are “welcome news because the survey was taken at a time when the VP’s detractors were aggressively throwing mud against him in the Senate and in media.” He added that Trillanes’ boast that in this survey Binay’s numbers would drop by 10 points or more did not happen.
“For us, it means that the people have seen through the motives of the senators who style themselves as presidentiables. The people have seen the absence of substance behind the posturing and drama. The people are also telling the senators to stop the mudslinging and attend to the more pressing needs of the country,” Salgado said in a text message.
Drops among social classes
The survey results showed that Binay suffered his biggest setback in Luzon, dropping 10 percentage points, from 32 in September, to 22 in November.
He dropped 4 points in Metro Manila, and 3 points in Mindanao. He gained 1 point in the Visayas region. Binay has been going around the provinces there.
Among social classes, Binay sustained drops across the board. He shed off 5 points among ABC; 6 points among D and 3 points among E. The D and E, comprising the majority of voters, are considered the bailiwick of Binay’s votes.
Still, if the elections were to be held today, Binay would win by a plurality.
But the gap has narrowed.
Grace Poe’s gain
Surging from the Pulse Asia November survey is neophyte Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who jumped from 10% to 18%.
Poe, daughter of the late action star Fernando Poe Jr, posted substantial increases across the board. From 10 points and 9 points in NCR and Luzon, she leap-frogged to 19 points and 20 points, respectively. In Mindanao, she advanced from 8 to 19 points. In the Visayas however, she lost 1 point, from 14% to 13%.
Among social classes, Poe posted double digits across the board: 17 points among the ABC, 20 points among the D, and 15 points among the E. In the September survey, she managed 9 points among the ABC, 12 points among the D, and 6 points among the E.
Significantly, Poe is in a tie with Binay among the ABC, and is within striking distance in Luzon.
By deduction, and based on the numbers of the other potential presidential candidates, it appears Poe is the biggest beneficiary of Binay’s decline in numbers.
Other highpoints of the survey:
- The ruling Liberal Party’s presumptive bet, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, aped Binay’s decline, losing 7 percentage points, from 13% to 6%. Roxas slid to 6th place, from second in the September survey.
- Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago gained 1 percentage point from the previous Pulse survey, but this is hardly significant considering the ±3% percent margin of error.
- Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s retained his 10%, indicating that the former president who was convicted for plunder has a loyal following.
- Former vice president Noli de Castro who has returned to his broadcasting job was no longer included in the list. De Castro had 3 percentage points in the September survey.
Others in the list were:
- Senator Francis Escudero (7%)
- Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr (4%)
- Alan Peter Cayetano (3%)
- Former Senator Panfilo Lacson (2%)
- Senator Franklin Drilon (2%)
- Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr (1%)
- Former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro (1%)
- Former Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon (1%)
- House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte (0.4%)
In the vice-presidential race, Poe retained the top spot as the preferred choice, followed by Escudero and Cayetano. The 3 posted double-digit numbers.
Poe tightened her grip with 33%; Escudero, 20% and Cayetano, 13%. From the September survey, Poe advanced by 2 percentage points, Escudero, 1 percentage point, and Cayetano, 4 percentage points.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV lagged behind with 8%, in a tie with Marcos.
Cayetano and Trillanes are leading the charge against Binay in the Senate sub-committee Blue Ribbon hearing. – Rappler.com