Senator Grace Poe has overtaken Vice President Jejomar Binay as the front runner for the 2016 presidential elections. That is according to the most recent survey conducted separately by Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS), the results of which were published yesterday and today, respectively.
In the Pulse Asia survey (accessible through their website’s homepage), Poe is now ahead of Binay, 30% to 22%. Behind them are Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (15%), Interior Secretary Mar Roxas (10%), former president and current Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada (10%), Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago (6%) and Alan Peter Cayetano (2%), as well as former Senator Panflo Lacson (2%). Senator Bongbong Marcos curiously was not included in the survey.
Meanwhile, the most recent SWS survey also show the strong trend in favor of Poe. However, it must be noted that SWS conducted a top-of-mind poll, which means in this case that respondents can list up to three names. Nevertheless, their results weren’t too different from the Pulse Asia.
Poe is on top with 42% compared to Binay’s 34%. After them are the following: Roxas (21%), Duterte (20%), Estrada (7%), Lacson (2%), Escudero (4%), Defensor-Santiago (4%), Marcos (3%), and Cayetano (2%).
Below are the key takeaways from the survey:
1) The biggest gainers based on the two surveys are Senator Poe and Mayor Duterte. Together with 2010 vice presidential rivals Binay and Roxas, it seems that we might be headed for a four-way battle royal for 2016. Of course, it must be kept in mind that we will only know for sure our choices when the filing period for candidacies comes this October.
2) This is certainly not a welcome news for Binay, who used to top all surveys of potential presidential candidates dating back April 2014 (where he lead Poe 40% to 15%). Nevertheless, it will be wrong to assume that Binay will just let Poe run away with this. Everyone seems to have forgotten that in 2010, Binay erased a 30-point deficit to pull off a squeaker over Roxas. However, Binay seems to be having difficulty gaining new support mainly because of all the allegations of corruption hurled against him.
3) While surveys taken 10 months or so before Election Day are seldom predictive of the winners, they are effective in winnowing the field. In other words, given their low ratings, it seems foolhardy for the likes of Cayetano, Lacson, and Marcos to still push through with their reported presidential bids. Lacson and Marcos are better off running for Senate seats instead.
4) Estrada and Defensor-Santiago are two personalities consistently included in the surveys although they are increasingly more likely not to run at all. For one, the Manila Mayor seems to be leaning towards seeking a second term instead. Senator Miriam, meanwhile, appears to be more interested in selling books instead of really entering the presidential race despite the pleas of her devoted online followers.