Rappler's January text poll: Bailiwicks of Duterte, Binay, Roxas












MANILA, Philippines – Rodrigo Duterte clearly dominated Rappler’s January text poll as he did in the December poll. But examining results across major areas and regions reveals clear differences in preferences even among engaged voters.

While Duterte has enough engaged voters across the country who are willing to participate and express their support for their chosen bet, in the bailiwick areas of other candidates, enough people are also expressing their support to counter the voice of the Duterte fans. 

This is true in the case of Cagayan Valley, which is for Vice President Jejomar Binay, and in Western Visayas, which is for administration standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II. 

The regional preferences among engaged voters, as reflected in the Rappler text survey, is similar to those in probability surveys, according to Carijane Laylo, Rappler’s survey consultant. “It appears that even among engaged voters, the bailiwicks are evident,” she said.

Duterte is the overwhelming choice in Mindanao (59% of total votes), especially in the Davao region (81% of total votes). He also leads in the National Capital Region (NCR), Southern Luzon/Bicol, and the Visayas. (See graph below) 

Binay takes Northern Luzon

In North and Central Luzon, it is Binay who leads with 25% of total text votes, followed closely by Duterte (23%) and Poe (20%). 

“Even if he (Duterte) has very engaged voters, Luzon is really not his strength,” Laylo said. 

Binay’s lead is most pronounced in the Cagayan Valley region, where he took almost half (42%) of total text poll votes. He is followed by Senator Grace Poe with 16% of text poll votes. (See graph below)

It may be recalled that in the 2010 vice-presidential race, Binay also won in the Cagayan Valley region by a landslide with 649,279 votes in 2010 over the Liberal Party's Roxas (313,313 votes).

In the Ilocos region, Binay also leads (24% of votes), but the margin between him and Poe is smaller (she got 22% of total text poll votes for the region).

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, the partner of Senator Bongbong Marcos (who hails from the Ilocos region and is vying for vice-president), ranks only 5th in the region, with 12% of text poll votes. Rappler earlier reported about talks that the Marcos family is secretly supporting Poelong rumored to be a daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The rumor has also been denied.

Compared to his share of total votes (35%), Duterte’s share of votes in Central Luzon is only 27%. In this region, he is followed by Binay and Poe who tie with 20% of votes from text poll responders. 

In vote-rich Central Luzon and Calabarzon, Duterte still leads in the Rappler text poll, but his lead over other candidates is not as pronounced as his lead in total text poll votes.


In the latest probability poll conducted for The Standard by Laylo Research Strategies, Poe dominated Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Central Luzon.

In the Bicol region, home to two vice-presidential contenders, Francis "Chiz" Escudero and Leni Robredo, it is Roxas, Robredo’s partner, who leads with 28% of votes from text poll responders.

Interestingly, Escudero, who leads in the latest probability survey for the vice-presidential race does not seem to have transferred his clout over the region to his standard-bearer Poe – at least among the engaged voters. Poe ranks only 4th in the region in Rappler’s January text poll. She got only 17% of total votes, while Duterte and Binay got 23% and 18%, respectively.

Apart from Robredo, who hails from Camarines Sur – the province with highest number of votes in the region – Roxas’ allies in the area include Joey Salceda, governor of Albay province. Albay ranks second to Camarines Sur in terms of number of voters in the region.

Sorsogon, Escudero's home province, has only 425,024 compared to 1,001,870 in Camarines Sur and 742,204 in Albay. 

 Visayas and Mindanao

Three presidential candidates – Roxas, Poe and Santiago – claim affinity with the Visayas region. Roxas' home province is Capiz. Poe, a foundling, was supposedly found when she was a baby inside the Jaro Cathedral. Santiago is from Iloilo province.

Yet more text responders from the Visayas (39%) voted for Duterte, who hails from Mindanao. In this area, engaged Cebuano voters are the ones who carried Duterte, who speaks Cebuano. (See graph below)

Roxas, who placed second with 24% of votes across the Visayas regions, overtook Duterte only in his family’s home region. In Western Visayas, he got 34% compared to Duterte’s 21%.

Binay’s engaged followers in the region allowed the Vice President, who served as mayor of Makati for over a decade, to bag the 3rd spot (14%) in the region, overtaking Poe who got 13% of text poll votes, and Santiago who got 11%.

In the latest probability surveys, Laylo said, Roxas got most votes in Western Visayas. Poe was 2nd place.

Even in the Mindanao regions, which are dominated by Duterte, major differences are clearly seen. Duterte's lead is most overwhelming in his home region, Davao (81% of total votes). In the Zamboanga Peninsula, he still leads, but the lead is not as overwhelming at 41% of total votes.

Design and Methodology

In terms of design and methodology, effort was made to ensure that the January 2016 text poll demographics hewed closely to geographic and demographic distribution of voters, according to published Comelec data.

There are some notable differences. The proportion of responders from NCR to total responders (18%) is higher in the text poll survey, compared to the proportion of voters from NCR (11%) to total registered voters according to Comelec data.

See the table below for the total regional breakdown of responders (in percentage).

Whether having the most number of engaged voters will help any candidate in the long run, will be revealed as the campaign progresses and as election day nears.

“Having engaged voters is good for democracy. [Engaged voters] are more passionate about the issues their candidate support or espouse. There is more belief in the attribute of the person,” Laylo said.

There is more depth as well, she said, in the engaged voter’s reason for voting. “They are able to defend why they voted for a candidate.”

Further, engaged voters also have greater interest to really vote for their candidates on election day.

But having many engaged voters is a double-edged sword which can go either way, said Laylo. “They can alienate or convince.”

If your total voter base is dwindling, even if you have very engaged voters, that does not matter. It just means you have many noisy followers. "Marami lang na maingay. Maraming rah rah." (There are just too many noise-makers, many who say rah rah.)

What is ideal, according to Laylo, is if voter base grows along with engaged voters. This means, she said, that the candidate is really connecting with supporters.

At the end of the day, she pointed out – whether it’s a hard (engaged) or soft commitment – each vote is counted only once. “What is important is that they vote.” – Gemma Bagayaua Mendoza and Russell Shepherd/Rappler.com