Robredo, Marcos battle neck and neck for vice-presidency

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

ABS-CBN News

The vice-presidential race has gotten tighter than the presidential race, based on the latest ABS-CBN Pulse Asia pre-election survey

Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo now shares the lead with Senator Bongbong Marcos in the poll which was conducted from April 26-29, 2016.

A total of 4,000 respondents were polled in the survey, which had a margin of error of 1.5%.

The survey covered both urban and rural respondents who were adults 18 years old and above and are also registered voters with biometrics.

The respondents were asked to pick their vice-president from a sample ballot and list of candidates if elections were held during the survey dates.

Robredo is now the choice for vice-president of 30% of respondents, which is 4 points higher than her rating in the previous ABS-CBN Pulse Asia survey.

Marcos is the choice of 28%, down 3 points from the previous survey. On the other hand, Senators Francis Escudero (18%) and Alan Peter Cayetano (15%) didn't see changes in their ratings. Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Gringo Honasan had 3% and 2% ratings, respectively.

A total of 4,000 respondents were polled from April 26-29, 2016, with the survey having a margin of error of 1.5%.

The survey covered both urban and rural respondents who were adults 18 years old and above and who are also registered voters with biometrics.

The respondents were asked to pick their vice-president from a sample ballot and a list of candidates if elections were held during the survey dates.

Marcos took the National Capital Region (NCR) and Luzon with 42% and 33%; Robredo led Visayas with 42% and shared statistical leads in Mindanao (28%) with Marcos (24%) and Cayetano (29%).

Robredo shares the statistical lead with Marcos across all social classes. Robredo polled 32% in classes ABC, 30% in class D, and 29% in class E.

Marcos polled 29% in classes ABC, 29% in D, and 24% in E.

Around 4% of the respondents picked "don’t know, refused, undecided, or none."

Escudero, meanwhile, remains the top 2nd choice in the vice-presidential race, according to the survey.

Balance Luzon (24,164,541) has the biggest number of registered voters followed by Mindanao (12,629,265), Visayas (11,316,789) and NCR (6,253,249).

ROBREDO SURGE

Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes said the numbers in the vice-presidential race are closer than in the contest for president. "It's a little bit much more fluctuating and the contest is tighter among the four main candidates."

"The vice-presidential race saw a change that was significant with respect to let's say Robredo's preference, you have a 4-point increase," he said. "Nationally, the level of support for Robredo increased."

"Equally significant increase in Balance of Luzon. There was an increase of 6 points, so you can say that's also significant. It goes beyond margin of error for Balance Luzon. She used to have only 21 and now shes 27%, so tumaas iyung bilang ng nagsusuporta sa kanya sa buong bansa at tumaas iyung bilang ng nagsusuporta sa balanse ng Luzon, at heto iyung dahilan kung bakit medyo mas lumaki, makabuluhan iyung pagtaas ng support sa kaniya."

Holmes, however, could not attribute Robredo's rise to any specific reason. "Hard to pin it down on any specific event. It may have been a function of largely how she presented herself. I'm not familiar with what iyung ads niya, how frequent these have been."

Holmes, however, does not remove the possibility that Robredo's performances in the vice-presidential debates helped. "Maari, but the ABS-CBN survey was held a couple of weeks ago. Whether that was still in the horizon, whether that was retained by the voters, (it) might be difficult to say that people retained the level of performance whatever she did, whatever she communicated in that debate within that immediate period of the the survey. There was really nothing that was distinct reported in the headline that was pertinent to the VP race."

De La Salle University political scientist Julio Teehankee, meanwhile, described the vice-presidential race as one between the Aquino and Marcos narratives, with Robredo as heir of the Aquino legacy.

"It's still going to be a tight race in the vice-presidential race. Here, we're seeing Leni Robredo as the proxy of the yellow narrative, of the Aquino narrative. In this regard, we can say that Leni Robredo is the true heir apparent of 'Daang Matuwid.' She was able to project, embrace, and really show that she is the rightful heir to the 'Daang Matuwid' narrative. This is a contrast to the return of the Marcos narrative as characterized by Bongbong Marcos."

Holmes said that significant news events during the same period had little to do with the vice-presidential race. "The only thing that we saw were exchanges among presidential candidates. The shift of allies of presidential candidates, let's say Albay Gov. Salceda shifting support from Sec. Roxas to Grace Poe, and then the shift of support on part of the Remullas from Binay to Duterte."

"I'd say that whatever was the strategy that Robredo was implementing can account for the increase in voting support she's getting, since we're not familiar with on the ground and air campaigns she has launched. What we only capture is the increase of preference."

Teehankee believes that Robredo's campaign strategy boosted her mileage. "One of the early handicaps of Leni Robredo was that she wasn't known nationally."

"Leni Robredo did not immediately gain from the political capital out of the death of Sec. Jesse Robredo. Now that she went through the entire stretch of campaign, she had perfect, excellent performance, voters are now taking a look at her candiacy and are seeing her as an alternative to the return of the Marcoses."

Holmes also dispelled notions that Robredo's rise may be an attempt of respondents to balance out the rise of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the presidential race.

"In the first place, the structure of the ballot basically induces people separately expressing preference for president and vice-president," he said. "I don't think there are that many voters who are strategically minded."

As with the presidential race, Teehankee said the vice-presidential race is far from over. "Palagi ko po sinasabi, 'di pa tapos ang boksing. Ito po ay sobrang dikit. Makikita lang po natin ang katapusan, makikita lang natin ang ending nito sa election day itself."

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