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Imee Marcos on survey ranking: ‘Engagement with public paid off’

Mara Cepeda
Imee Marcos on survey ranking: ‘Engagement with public paid off’
The Ilocos Norte governor lands in the winners' circle in the last Pulse Asia survey, thanks to the drop in ranking of others previously ahead of her

MANILA, Philippines – Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos attributed her rise in the latest Pulse Asia senatorial survey to her constant exposure to Filipinos across the country.

In Pulse Asia’s latest Ulat ng Bayan survey on the 2019 senatorial elections released on September 22, Marcos rose to the 7th to 11th places with a 32.6% voter preference, landing her in the so-called winners’ circle.

This is an improvement from her ranking in Pulse Asia’s survey released in June, when Marcos ranked 13th to 20th with a voter preference of 29.9%.

Ever since hinting on her possible senatorial bid, Marcos has been spending the last few months going around different provinces in the country. Her Facebook profile shows the governor attending various events, from town fiestas to distribution of relief goods.

Marcos also hosts her own radio show called “Imee Sagot” at dwIZ. 

Nagpapasalamat ako sa publiko sa tiwala at suporta sa akin. Nagbunga ‘yong lahat ng pakikipag-ugnayan natin sa kanila,” Marcos told Rappler on Wednesday, September 26. (I thank the public for their trust and confidence in me. My engagement with them paid off.)

She conceded “it’s still early” in the game and that she needs to continue working.

Marcos is the eldest of the 3 children of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos and incumbent Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos. 

Pulse Asia’s explanation

Pulse Asia president Ronnie Holmes explained Marcos’ rise in the rankings by pointing out that others who were ahead of her in June dropped in the September survey.

On ANC’s Beyond Politics show on September 25, Holmes said: “It’s not so much an increase of her voting support. It’s the decline in terms of the voting support for the others who were ahead of her in the past.”

Holmes said “we saw a decline in terms of the pre-election support for the other candidates who were much more ahead of her in terms of the ranking.”

The following ranked higher than Marcos in June but are now below her in the September survey: Reelectionist Senators Aquilino Pimentel III (32.4%) and Bam Aquino (20.1%), ex-senators Lito Lapid (32.2%) and Serge Osmeña (29.8%), and Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald dela Rosa (27%).

Duterte allies drop in survey

Holmes singled out the drop in the September survey of two people closely associated with President Rodrigo Duterte: his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio and Dela Rosa.

“In the survey, we saw a significant decline also in terms of the preference for Mayor Sara Duterte. It’s about close to 7 percentage points decline but it’s sufficient to land her 5th, in a safe ranking,” Holmes told ANC. 

Sara Duterte has repeatedly said she is seeking reelection  and not running for senator.

In the September survey of Pulse Asia, Dela Rosa did not make it to the top 12. He ranked 7th in June.

Duterte’s special assistant, Christopher “Bong” Go, who has been aggressively campaigning – albeit unofficially – continued to linger outside the winning circle. He placed 22nd to 27th in the September poll.

“In the survey, we see people expressing much more concern for the increase in prices of commodities than what we’ve seen in the past 2 years,” Holmes said. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.