MANILA, Philippines – Davao city Mayor Rodrigo Duterte got an overwhelming rating in a nationwide survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) in the last week of November, ranking as the No. 1 voter’s choice not only from all socioeconomic classes but also from all geographic areas.
Landslide rating victory
According to Inquirer, the respondents were asked in Filipino: “With Rodrigo Duterte on this list as a substitute candidate for President, who would you most likely vote for President if the elections were held today?”
Nationwide, Duterte was the choice of 38 percent of voters, giving him a double-digit lead over Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay, who each got 21 percent. Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas received 15 percent and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago got 4 percent. Only 1 percent of the voters were undecided.
Among the upper and middle classes (ABC), the tough-talking Duterte got a commanding lead of 62 percent. In far second was Binay with 16 percent, followed by erstwhile front-runner Poe with 13 percent.
Roxas, the Aquino administration’s presidential candidate, got just 6 percent and Santiago, 1 percent.
SWS ran the survey on Nov. 26-28, or five to six days after Duterte finally declared his run for the presidency and two days before PDP-Laban proclaimed him its presidential candidate for the May 2016 general elections.
With 1,200 respondents, the survey, commissioned by a Davao-based businessman, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points at the national level and plus or minus 6 percentage points at the regional level. Each region had 300 respondents.
Among the regions, Duterte got close to half of Metro Manila (48 percent). A far second was Poe with 22 percent, followed by Binay, a former longtime mayor of Makati City, with 18 percent.
Roxas and Santiago garnered single-digit ratings in Metro Manila, with 7 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
In Mindanao, Duterte’s bailiwick, the mayor was the choice of 50 percent of the voters. Binay got 18 percent; Roxas, 16 percent; Poe, 13 percent; and Santiago, 2 percent.
In the Visayas, Duterte received 44 percent, more than double the 20 percent of Roxas, who has roots in Roxas City in Capiz province. Poe came in third with 16 percent, followed by Binay with 14 percent. Santiago, who comes from Iloilo province, was last with 5 percent.
In the rest of Luzon (Metro Manila excluded), Duterte, Binay and Poe were in a statistical tie with 26 percent, 27 percent and 28 percent, respectively, as the margin of error for the region was 6 percentage points.
Fourteen percent of the respondents said they would vote for Roxas and 5 percent for Santiago.
In Classes D and E, Duterte was clearly ahead with 37 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
Binay got 21 percent in Class D and 26 percent in Class E. Poe got 22 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Roxas obtained 15 percent in Class D and 17 percent in Class E. It was 4 percent and 5 percent, respectively, for Santiago.
Surprised by the results
The mayor said he was amazed by the sudden increase in his ratings.
“I am surprised and awed by the result, but I am thankful for accepting me with all my faults and some virtues. If elected I can assure you that I will be true to my oath of office and fulfill my promises. Thank you,” Duterte told the Inquirer in a telephone interview.
Asked how he intended to sustain his lead until Election Day, he said: “I will hide first because at this time I cannot go around the country because I still lack funds and I do not like asking for campaign funds.”
Duterte said his supporters, who had been with him every time he ran for a local office, might go bankrupt because of the huge campaign expenses involved in the presidential campaign.
“I do not like asking for campaign funds. My Davao supporters might go bankrupt if they will keep on supporting me because millions (of pesos) is needed for the national campaign,” he said.