If the 2019 elections were held today, incumbent Senator Grace Poe will top the Senate race once again with a 75.6 percent rating, a Pulse Asia survey on the 2019 Senate bets released on Wednesday showed.
The Pulse Asia poll, conducted from December 14 to 21, 2018 using face-to-face interviews, also showed reelectionists Cynthia Villar and Sonny Angara ranking second and third with 66.6 percent and 58.5 percent rating, respectively.
Rounding up the rest of the winners' circle or the top 12 are: Taguig Representative Pia Cayetano with 55.4 percent, former Senator and actor Lito Lapid with 49.8 percent, Senator Nancy Binay with 46.7 percent, Senator Koko Pimentel with 45.5 percent, former Senator Serge Osmeña with 38.8 percent, former Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. with 37.6 percent, Ilocos Governor Imee Marcos with 36.7 percent, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada with 36.3 percent, and former police chief Ronald dela Rosa with 35.7 percent.
Within striking distance of winning are: former Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II with 35 percent, as well as former Senators JV Ejercito with 33.6 percent and Bam Aquino with 32.6 percent.
Poe topped the 2013 Senate race with 20 million votes but lost the 2016 presidential race to then Davao City Mayor Duterte by five million votes.
The biggest gainer, however, was Revilla, who ended up in ninth place in the recent survey. In the June 2018 poll, when he was still in detention over his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, Revilla was at 14th-21st rank.
The Sandiganbayan acquitted Revilla of plunder charges on December 7, 2018.
Lapid also gained, leaping from 11th place in June 2018 (36.2 percent) to fourth (49.8 percent) in the recent survey, or a 12.1 percent increase.
Go goes up, Bato falls
President Rodrigo Duterte has earlier expressed dismay over the pre-election survey results since his former top aide, Christopher “Bong” Go, and his former political adviser, Francis Tolentino, have yet to crack the winners' circle.
Go and Tolentino went up the latest poll compared with the last Pulse Asia survey released in June 2018, but both of them still did not make it to the Top 12.
Go, however, still posted a significant gain and moved from 16th place to 14th with 29.7 percent rating as opposed to his 9.9 percent score in June 2018, which is only good for 23rd to 31st ranking.
Tolentino ranked 17th to 18th in the latest Pulsa Asia poll with 19.4 percent, also up from his June 2018 rating of 9.9 percent, which is only good for a 23rd to 31st ranking.
The President has also made a pitch for Dela Rosa, who skidded to 12th place in the latest Pulse Asia poll as opposed to his seventh place ranking in June 2018 where he garnered a rating of 37.7 percent.
Aside from Roxas and Aquino, the rest of the six opposition candidates did not fare well in the latest Pulse Asia survey.
Former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada III ranked 22nd to 31st with a 5.1 percent rating, while human rights lawyer Chel Diokno ranked 26th to 35th with a 3.4 percent rating.
Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano placed 27th to 37th with a 2.8 percent score, while election lawyer Macalintal placed 28th to 50th with 2.1 percent.
Muslim aid worker Samira Gutoc only had a 1.3 percent rating to rank 34th to 55th, while former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay had a 0.4 percent rating to rank 38th to 69th.
Reelectionist senators said they were humbled with the result of the survey.
Poe attributed the result to hard work, prayer, and the legacy of her father, the late action king Fernando Poe Jr, adding she will continue working for the Filipino people.
“We are humbled by the unwavering support of our kababayan. This will serve both as an inspiration and challenge to continue working hard, grateful to the people for giving us the chance to help make lives a little better. Sa aking mga kababayan, maraming salamat po,” she said in a text message sent to GMA News Online on Wednesday.
Angara said he is elated and humbled by the latest Pulse Asia survey results as he thanked the public for their continued trust and confidence.
He said the latest snapshot of how voters perceive their preferred candidates will definitely inspire him to work harder in 2019 and the years to come to make people’s lives better.
“This, however, will not distract me from pursuing our main agenda of institutionalizing programs that will improve education, job generation and health services. May survey man o wala, itutuloy po natin ang alagang Angara para sa ikabubuti ng ating mga kababayan at ng bansa,” he said.
Pimentel said that he was glad with the survey results, which ranks him in the top 10 even without advertisements yet.
“I am glad to be ranking although I have no TV exposure as of the moment. I will just continue to explain to the people what my plans are, as well as the PDP LABAN's. I am sure they will see that I am using my 'kokote' (brain) for the good of our country,” the president of the ruling party said.
Even those outside the top 12 were happy with the results.
Ejercito, who is ranked in the 9 to 15 range, said he is satisfied with the slow but steady improvement considering that most of those on top have political ads already.
“I am optimistic that when I have political ads aired and when issues are ventilated, my performance and clean track record will pull me up. The trajectory of my rating is encouraging. It is slow but steadily moving up. What is also evident is the percentage of voting for increased significantly. This is more important than the ranking,” he said.
“I remain grateful to our countrymen who continue to support me to allow me to serve them more. Your support and encouragement is the reason why we were able to craft landmark legislations. I may not be leading but being part of the winners' circle is more than enough inspiration to work harder,” he added.
Aquino welcomed his entry into the winning circle, placing 10th to 16th, in the Pulse Asia survey even as he stressed the importance of the voters’ role in the 2019 elections, especially in scrutinizing the accomplishments and performance of candidates.
“Mahalaga po ang suporta at papel ng bawat botante, bawat volunteer, bawat supporter sa labang ito, sa pagiging mapanuri sa mga nagawa ng mga kandidato at sa pagkukumbinsi sa iba pang naghahangad ng mga pagbabago sa ating liderato at lipunan,” he said.
The survey has an error margin of ± 2.3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level, with subnational estimates for the following areas at 95 percent confidence level: ± 6.5 percent for Metro Manila, ± 3.5 percent for the rest of Luzon, ± 5.2 percent for Visayas, and ± 4.7 percent for Mindanao. —KG/KBK/BM, GMA News