Making sense of Duterte's rise in The Standard poll
MANILA, Philippines – Only a month before election day, support for Rodrigo Duterte is inching ever higher, according to The Standard poll conducted by Laylo Research Strategies from March 26 to April 1.
The full report on the results shows that, in areas where Duterte is outranked by other candidates, he is slowly gaining. In areas of strength, particularly Mindanao, he is solidifying his lead. However, there is a margin of error of ±4% for all regional groupings so, in most cases, several candidates are tied.
The upward trend of his numbers was already evident in the The Standard poll the previous month.
In the Visayas, Duterte threatens to steal Roxas’ thunder. The Visayas vote is keeping Roxas afloat in surveys. Roxas cornered the top spot at 36% in February, while Duterte was a far second at 23%. But after a month, support for Duterte surged to 31%, within striking distance of Roxas’ 35%.
Duterte’s biggest gains in the Visayas were observed in Eastern Visayas and Central Visayas where his numbers rose by 16 percentage points and 15 percentage points, respectively. All other candidates lost in these two regions.
Roxas still dominates in Western Visayas, his bailiwick, and the Negros Island region. Duterte lost support in both areas.
Gaining slowly in Luzon
Let’s take a look at Luzon. In Metro Manila, Duterte was only the second choice in February. But he has surged to first place, at 30%, gaining 7 percentage points. He is now tied with Grace Poe for first place in the megacity. In comparison, Jejomar Binay was the biggest loser here, losing 5 percentage points to land in second place.
In North and Central Luzon, Poe and Binay clearly dominate. Duterte is still in 3rd or 4th place, alternating with Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas. But he gained in all regions except for Ilocos where support remained at 11%.
His biggest gain was in Central Luzon where support for him rose by 10 percentage points, from 13% in February to 23% in March.
Binay was again the biggest loser in North and Central Luzon. The numbers of Poe and Roxas were unchanged making it likely that preference for Binay transferred to Duterte.
In South Luzon and Bicol, Poe is the top choice with Roxas at second place. Binay suffered losses in all regions here allowing Poe, Duterte, and Roxas to gain. Mimaropa should be a red flag for Duterte since his numbers decreased by 8 percentage points whereas Roxas gained 11 percentage points.
Binay gaining in ARMM
Though much is still to be desired with the support Duterte is getting from Luzon, his support base in Mindanao is making up for it.
Duterte is still overwhelmingly the southern island’s choice although he has lost in some regions.
One of these weak spots is Zamboanga Peninsula where he is no longer the top choice for president after losing 9 percentage points. That honor now goes to Poe and Roxas who are tied at first place with 31% each compared to the Davao City mayor’s 21%.
In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Duterte needs to worry about growing support for Binay. (READ: What's going on? Is the ARMM voters' list padded again?)
Duterte lost 10 percentage points, from 45% in February to 35% in March though he is still the region’s top pick. Binay, in the meantime, gained by 11 percentage points (from 16% to 27%). Roxas’ numbers here rose too.
Top pick of youth, Catholics
In other categories, Duterte has managed to edge out other contenders.
He is now the top choice of urban residents, a distinction that a month ago belonged to Poe. The Mindanaoan bet now has 33% of respondents’ support compared to Poe’s 29%.
But Duterte is now also the favored candidate of rural residents with 28%, again beating Poe (25%).
The Bisaya presidential bet is still the top pick of the affluent Filipinos or classes ABC. In fact, he has widened the gap between him and other candidates. He now has a 16-percentage-point lead from his closest rival Poe whereas, last month, the gap was only 9 percentage points.
Poe now surrenders her place as Class D’s favorite candidate to Duterte, with his 30% to her 26%. Support for her was unchanged whereas Duterte gained 6 percentage points. A majority of Filipino registered voters belong to Class D.
But for the poorest Filipinos, Duterte and Poe are tied for first place. Both gained in this front, although Duterte’s increase is twice that of Poe’s.
The tough-talking mayor solidified his support base among the men, with 34% of male respondents saying they will vote for him. He was the clear favorite, with Poe, his closest contender, 10 percentage points away.
And what do women think of Duterte? Support for him is rising among women even if Poe maintained her lead at 29%. But though support for the neophyte senator was unchanged, Duterte gained by 4 percentage points (22% to 26%), closing the gap between them.
Another major win for Duterte is capturing the youth vote. He is now the top pick of 18 to 34-year-olds with 34% to Poe’s 30%. Last month, Poe was their favored candidate.
Duterte has also apparently converted many 35 to 54-year-olds. While support for Poe was unchanged in this age group (23%), support for Duterte rose by 6 percentage points (24% to 30%).
As for older Filipinos, aged 55 years old and above, Duterte gained the most support with an increase of 5 percentage points. He shares second place with Poe, both at 25%. But Roxas is still the top choice in this age group, although with a slim lead at 27%.
The presidential bet who cursed Pope Francis is now the top pick of Catholic voters with a voter preference of 30% to Poe’s 27%.
He is also the top pick of Born Again Christians and Muslims.
Duterte’s popularity is no doubt rising. But his supporters and campaign team members cannot be complacent. Popularity won’t assure victory against candidates with well-oiled political machineries and operators on the ground.
Though Duterte has snagged first place on many fronts, the race is still a very tight one. Every move, and every vote will count. – Rappler.com