The seven-percentage point increase in the numbers of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was seen across regions, Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Tabunda said, adding that it was the first time the pollster has seen a majority presidential candidate with more than 50 percent of the potential votes.
“He increased by 7 percentage points, which is considered significant. He got it from across the regions,” Tabunda said in an interview with ANC.
Marcos posted a higher rating of 60 percent in the January survey of Pulse Asia, up from 53 percent in its December 2021 poll.
Vice President Leni Robredo came in second at 16 percent, followed by Senator Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso who were statistically tied at third place with 8 percent each, and Senator Panfilo Lacson with 4 percent.
It was the first time for the survey firm, Tabunda said, “to see a presidential candidate garner more than 50 percent of the votes.”
Marcos is getting “at least 50 percent voter preference among Class C respondents,” she said and getting even higher numbers among Class D, which is the largest socioeconomic class.
Robredo’s voter preference, on the other hand, went down by four percentage points from 20 percent in December to 16 percent last month.
Tabunda said “it’s not impossible” that some voters may have shifted their preference to Marcos.
Tabunda said Robredo appears to have a “ceiling” when it comes to voter preference as she only placed fourth among the second-choice candidates with 13 percent, trailing behind Domagoso with 24 percent.
“That means that the voter preference for Leni has a ceiling such that she will not come out as a second choice,” she said.
Tabunda attributed Marcos’ popularity to his being the son of the late president Ferdinand Marcos.
“Apparently, some of our people think that Ferdinand E. Marcos was a good president. The link between BBM and his father, that’s what’s coming out,” Tabunda said.
In a separate interview with CNN, Tabunda acknowledged that Marcos’ absence in some presidential interviews did not seem to have a negative effect.
She said Pulse Asia has yet to determine whether Marcos’ win last month in a petition challenging his presidential bid may have boosted his numbers.
“We cannot be sure that it was these issues that led to his voter preference but we can say these were not affecting him negatively,” Tabunda said.
But Tabunda said while Marcos’ 60 percent voter preference may seem formidable, other candidates should not lose hope.
“I would encourage the other candidates to give it a try, to still try, strategize, and improve their voter preferences,” she said.