Business Mirror - Re-electionists continue to dominate senate race

  RE-ELECTIONISTS continue to dominate the senatorial race, according to the results of the latest Pulse Asia Inc. survey.

The results of Pulse Asia’s February 2013 pre-election national survey conducted from February 24 to 28 also showed that if elections were held on Monday, 15 of the 33 senatorial candidates would have a “statistical” chance of winning, mostly from the administration coalition, Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes said in a statement.

“Of the 15, nine are running under Team PNoy…while six are part of the senatorial slate of the United Nationalist Alliance [UNA]. In addition, with the exception of three candidates, all of the probable winners are either former or incumbent members of either the Senate or the House of Representatives,” Holmes said.

Re-electionist Senators Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano—Team PNoy candidates—shared first to third place with 56.7 percent, 54.9 percent and 52.8 percent, respectively.

In fourth to ninth places are former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar (44.0 percent), San Juan City Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada (43.8 percent), former National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Paolo Benigno Aquino IV (43.2 percent) and UNA Deputy Secretary-General Nancy Binay (42.5 percent).

Closely trailing behind are former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chairman Grace Poe (42.1 percent) and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III (40.1 percent).

The others on the list of probable winners are Sen. Gregorio Honasan (37.9 percent), Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. (36.6 percent), Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (36.1 percent), Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara (35.1 percent), former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri (33.2 percent) and former Sen. Richard Gordon (32.2 percent).

Among the candidates, Aquino and Poe obtained the biggest increase in electoral support in February—11.8 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively, compared to the last survey conducted in January.

Holmes said the survey results also showed that as of February, 5.5 percent of Filipinos “are not inclined to support any of the 33 senatorial candidates for the coming midterm elections” while 42 percent of Filipinos have already named their 12 preferred senatorial candidates.

During the survey period, the primary developments included UNA’s decision to drop Legarda, Escudero and Poe from its senatorial slate, the Sabah standoff, the National Bureau of Investigation report on the Atimonan shooting  and salvage operations to extract the USS Guardian from the Tubbataha Reef in Palawan. Among the other major issues were the 27th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution, the signing of the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, and the Commission on Audit (COA) report on the alleged channeling of Priority Development Assistance fund to a bogus non-governmental organization.

The nationwide survey, conducted among 1,800 registered voters, has a ± 2 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.

Subnational estimates for the geographic areas covered in the survey have the following error margins at 95 percent confidence level, ±7 percent for Metro Manila, ±3 percent for the rest of Luzon and ±5 percent for each of the Visayas and Mindanao.