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MANILA, Philippines - Administration candidates Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV and Grace Poe-Llamanzares got the biggest gains in the latest Pulse Asia senatorial preference survey released Monday, March 11.
Aquino, the former National Youth Commission (NYC) commissioner and a cousin of President Benigno Aquino III, gained 11.8 percentage points in the said survey from January to February, resulting in a 43.2% rating.
The survey was conducted from February 24 to 28, covering a sample of 1,800 registered voters from across the country. The survey has an error margin of +/-2% at the 95% confidence level.
Aquino's jump was enough to put him in a statistical tie for 4th-9th place with former Las Piñas Rep Cynthia Villar (44.0%), San Juan Rep JV Ejercito (43.8%), and Nancy Binay (42.5%).
Poe got an 11.2% boost in her rating (42.1%), landing her in the 4th-10th spot, just a few points ahead of re-electionist Sen Koko Pimentel (rank 4-12, 40.1%).
Still at the top of the heap are Senators Loren Legarda (56.7%), Chiz Escudero (54.9%), and Alan Peter Cayetano (52.8%), all in the 1-3 spot.
Completing the so-called "Magic 12" are Sen Gringo Honasan (37.9%, rank 8-15); Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile (36.6%, rank 9-15); and Sen Antonio Trillanes IV (36.1%, rank 9-15).
Just outside the magic circle are Aurora Rep Sonny Angara (35.1%); former Sen Migz Zubiri (33.2%); and former Sen Richard Gordon (32.2%).
8 admin bets
In all, 8 in the so-called Magic 12 are from the administration coalition Team PNoy, while 4 are part of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), the survey firm said.
The 8 are: Legarda, Escudero, Cayetano, Villar, Aquino, Poe, Pimentel, and Trillanes. The 4 UNA candidates are: Binay, Ejercito, Honasan and Enrile.
This is also the first time a candidate fielded by the Liberal Party, President Aquino's party, entered the top 12 in Pulse Asia's survey. In the Social Weather Stations survey, first released by BusinessWorld last February 26, Aquino also made it to the Magic 12 for the first time, climbing to that survey's 9-10 spot with 42% of respondents saying they will vote for him.
The Pulse Asia survey covered the start of the campaign period for the national candidates, as well as the decision by the UNA to drop Legarda, Escudero, and Poe from their lineup.
Other major events during this period were the Sabah standoff; the release of the report on the Atimonan incident; and the release of the Commission on Audit report on the irregularities in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the Senate.
In Pulse Asia's results, Trillanes' voting preference percentage dropped the most among the 33 candidates, losing 5.0 percentage points from January to February.
Zubiri and Enrile also had significant losses in percentage points (-4.3 and -3.8 percentage points, respectively).
Within the top 12, slight drops were recorded for Legarda (-1.3 percentage points), Binay (-1.1), and Pimentel (-0.6).
Villar and Cayetano, meanwhile, registered significant gains (+4.9 and +3.9 percentage points, respectively).
The Pulse Asia survey results reflect those of the most recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) senatorial preference survey. - With reports from KD Suarez/Rappler.com
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