By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Candidates for the midterm elections endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte and others aligned with his administration continued to dominate the latest Pulse Asia senatorial preference survey released on Monday.
In the nationwide survey conducted from Feb. 24 to 28 among 1,800 respondents, Pulse Asia found that 14 candidates have a statistical chance of making it to the top 12 if the midterm polls were conducted during the survey period.
The respondents were particularly asked to name up to 12 official senatorial candidates.
Independent candidate Senator Grace Poe (67.5 percent) maintained her lead in the senatorial race.
She is followed by administration bets Senator Cynthia Villar (61 percent voter preference, second place), and former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go (53 percent) and Senator Juan Edgardo Angara (52.2 percent), who were both tied for third to fifth places.
Opposition candidate former Senator Lito Lapid was preferred by 49 percent of registered voters, and occupied third to seventh places.
Completing the top half of the list of probable winners were Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano (47 percent), who occupied fifth to seventh places and former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Ronald dela Rosa who found himself in fifth to eighth places (44.6 percent). Both candidates have also been officially endorsed by President Duterte.
Independent Senator Nancy Binay registered an overall voter preference of 40.5 percent and this equates to a statistical ranking of seventh to 10th places.
Former Senator Manuel Roxas II, also an opposition candidate, has the support of 39.8 percent of registered voters and a statistical ranking of eighth to 12th places.
Roxas is followed by administration senatorial hopeful Ramon Revilla Jr. who has a voter preference of 36.8 percent and is ranked eighth to 13th out of 62 senatorial bets.
Sharing ninth to 14th places were Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos (36 percent) and Senator Aquilino Pimentel III (35.6 percent), both administration-aligned bets.
The other probable winners were administration candidates former Senator Jinggoy Estrada (33.9 percent) who was ranked 10th to 15th and former Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino (32.1 percent) who had a ranking of 11th to 15th places.
During the same survey period, Pulse Asia found that over a third of registered voters (37 percent) support 12 senatorial candidates.
Across geographic areas and socio-economic groupings, it was only in Mindanao where most voters already had 12 preferred senatorial candidates.
In contrast, only about a quarter of voters in the rest of Luzon (28 percent), Visayas (26 percent), and Class E or the “poorest” (27 percent) have a complete senatorial slate.
In addition, Filipino registered voters have identified a mean of eight and a median of nine (out of a maximum of 12) senatorial candidates they are inclined to vote for in the May 2019 polls.
In the different geographic areas and socio-economic classes, mean figures vary from eight to 10 while median figures range from eight to 12. (Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz)