How bets fare among key demographics

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Duterte leads among urban voters

Poe on top among women, INC voters

MANILA - Presidential preference survey frontrunners Senator Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte split key demographics in the latest ABS-CBN survey by Pulse Asia.

Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Tabunda told ABS-CBN that in the March 8 - 13, 2016 survey, Duterte got substantial support from urban voters while Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Mar Roxas drew support from rural voters.

"Well I think it's very striking that 3 of the 4 strong presidential candidates have a sizable support in the rural areas… But he (Duterte) has larger percentage of the urban areas -- 31% of urban voters and only 21% of rural voters.

''There's a skew. Urban voters tend to like Mayor Duterte. I think it's because -- part of it is his [anti-crime] advocacy, the headway he made against crime in Davao City. It's basically an urban problem."

Among the 1,660 urban respondents, 31% picked Duterte; 27% Poe; 21% Binay; 13 % Roxas; and 3% Santiago.

Among the 2,340 rural respondents, 25% picked Poe; 25% Roxas; 22% Binay; 21% Duterte; and 2% Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago.

MALE, FEMALE VOTE

Poe took the female vote, while Duterte had the male vote. Among males, 29% picked Duterte; 23% Poe; 21% Binay, 20% Roxas; and 3% Santiago.

Among females, 29% picked Poe; 23% Binay; 21% Duterte; 20% Roxas; and 2% Santiago.

''Right now, in this particular wave or round, we're seeing the female voters tending to vote more for Grace and the male voters for Duterte,'' she said.

''So there is this female-male favor for the two candidates. In the last round, Poe had the same proportion and same voting percentage for both male and female. We were not seeing that more females were going for her."

RELIGIOUS GROUPS

The poll also tracked the popularity of the candidates in the religious groups.

Of the 3,339 Roman Catholic respondents, 27% picked Poe; 24% Duterte; 22% Binay; 20% Roxas; and 3% Santiago. Catholics don't practice bloc voting.

On the other hand, 84 of the respondents were members of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), which is known for its bloc voting practice.

Among the INC respondents, 38% picked Poe; 21% Binay; 12% Duterte; 8% Roxas; and 3% Santiago. This, however, was taken with no reports yet of an endorsement by the INC leadership of a particular bet.

A total of 159 respondents were Muslims. Thirty-two percent of them picked Duterte; 23% Roxas; 21% Binay; and 18% Poe.

Tabunda, however, doesn't want to read too much into these numbers. "For the religious groups right now, because they're the biggest group, the Catholics are of course going for Senator Poe and Mayor Duterte and in the case of INC, although it's a small sample, if they are allowed to vote for themselves, they are going for Sen. Poe and VP Binay. Once their religious leaders endorse a particular candidate, that would change."

Tabunda added that in a close election, bloc voting will matter.

''Bloc voting is crucial in a close election. You need every single percentage point you can get, even half-percentage point, in terms of number of votes,'' she said.

The March 8-13 survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews with 4,000 respondents nationwide. It has a ± 1.5% error margin at the 95% confidence level.