Despite rape joke, Duterte retains wide lead in new ABS-CBN survey

MANILA, Philippines – Davao Mayor City Rodrigo Duterte maintained his comfortable lead over his rivals in the latest ABS-CBN survey, despite his controversial joke on the rape of an Australian woman.

The commissioned survey, conducted by Pulse Asia between April 19 and 24, showed Duterte losing one percentage point from last survey's ratings but still enjoying the support of 33% of respondents. This is an 11-point lead over Senator Grace Poe, whose ratings remained at 22%.

Poe and administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II, with 20%, are statistically tied for 2nd place. Roxas' numbers increased by 2 percentage points from the previous survey.

Vice President Jejomar Binay slid to 3rd with 18%, while Senator Miriam Santiago remained at the bottom with 2%.

The survey was conducted among 4,000 validated voters nationwide.

Pulse Asia said the survey has a +/-1.5% margin of error at the 95% confidence level for its national results, while error margins for the regional results are as follows: +/-4.6% in NCR, +/-2.3% in Luzon, +/-3.4% in Visayas, and +/-3.3% in Mindanao.

The survey was conducted at the height of Duterte’s controversial rape joke and his challenge to Australia and the United States to cut their diplomatic ties with the Philippines should he win in the May 2016 elections, after their respective envoys reacted to his rape joke.

Sharp drop in NCR, among the rich

While Duterte maintained his lead across all socio-economic classes, his numbers have gone down during the survey period except in Class D.

Duterte’s numbers remained unchanged in Class D at 33%.

For Class ABC, the mayor got 37%, a sharp 10-point drop from the previous survey. It was Roxas who seemed to have benefitted from this, as he rose from 15% to 23% in this group.

For Class E, Duterte got 31%, a 3-point decline from the last poll. Poe follows with 24%, Roxas with 22%, and Binay with 18%.

In the National Capital Region and Mindanao, Duterte remained the most preferred presidential candidate. His numbers, however, declined from 43% to 34% in Metro Manila and from 61% to 58% in Mindanao, where he hails.

Poe remained to be the top choice for the rest of Luzon with 29%, while Roxas is still the preferred presidential candidate in the Visayas with 37%, up by 3%. He was followed by Duterte with 32%, a 4-point increase from last survey.

Poe still top second choice

If the voters' primary pick for president drops out of the 5-way race, the survey revealed Poe continued to be the top second choice with 33%. She was followed by Binay with 16% and Roxas and Duterte, with 12% each.

Meanwhile, 20% of those who responded said they don't have a back-up candidate.

Other major issues during the survey period were the arrest of the alleged hacker of the Commission on Elections website, the last presidential debate, and the meeting of most presidential candidates with the Iglesia ni Cristo, among others. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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