Survey says Sara-Digong tandem tops in 2022 national elections

The First Family.

MANILA, Philippines – In an independent non-commissioned survey, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and father President Rodrigo Roa Duterte emerged as top bets for president and vice president, respectively, in the 2022 national and presidential elections.

Dubbed as “Pahayag VisMin 2019,” the survey showed the Davao chief executive tops on the list of 21 potential candidates for president, with 35 percent of the respondents selecting her.

Senator Mary Grace Poe, a has-been for president in the 2016 presidential elections, came up next with 11 percent; Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso, 7.8 percent; Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, 5.5 percent; Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, 4.6 percent; and Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, 4.5 percent.

The non-commissioned survey was conducted from Nov. 15 to 19, 2019 involving 2,000 registered voters from the Visayas and Mindanao.

Randomly chosen

They were randomly chosen and implemented by political consultancy firm PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. (PAI).

On the other hand, the data was processed by its data science arm, VOX Opinion Research.

According to a national daily (Manila Times), the poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.19 percent across the entire survey population and +/- 3.1 percent within the respective VisMin clusters.

Meanwhile, for the vice presidential race, the father President Duterte emerged as the top bet among 21 potential candidates, garnering 11.6 percent. He was trailed by the Davao mayor, who got 11.5 percent.

Following them were Domagoso with 9.85 percent; Poe, 9.05 percent; Cayetano, 8.85 percent; and Pacquiao, 7.25.

PAI Executive Director and firm spokesman Aureli Sinsuat said the results of the poll showed that the Duterte brand could be stronger in Mindanao and the Visayas bailiwicks than what was originally expected.

Sinsuat pointed out that Duterte-Carpio garnered a whopping 54.1 percent of the Mindanao votes, while the race was too close to call in the Visayas.

Duterte-Carpio’s win was only 16.1 percent in the Visayas, followed by Llamanzares with 13.5 percent and Domagoso with 11.5 percent. With a cluster margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent, this means that the Top 3 choices for President in the Visayas are statistically tied, Sinsuat said.

“Mindanao only has a 2-percent advantage over [the] Visayas in terms of overall voting population, with 23 percent of total voters nationally registered in Mindanao versus 21 percent registered in [the] Visayas. Despite this, the overwhelming preference for Mayor Duterte-Carpio among Mindanaoan respondents essentially nullified the tight results in Visayas,” Sinsuat said.

Voting bloc

“Mindanaoan voters catapulted President Duterte to the presidency in 2016. This goes to show that a united Mindanao voting bloc is a force to be reckoned with in the 2022 elections,” he added.

Sinsuat believes that Duterte and his daughter would not run against each other.

“One would undoubtedly give way to the other, and it is safe to presume that a large number of the supporters of one would end up flocking to the other. Thus, whichever Duterte would run for vice president would win by a comfortable margin in [the] Visayas and Mindanao,” he explained.

He doubted that Duterte would again run for president (under the law, re-election is not allowed for an incumbent Philippine President).

“The President has been vocal about his intention to retire from national politics and get some rest after his term ends in 2022. I doubt he would actively pursue six more years of stress as the second-highest official in the land,” Sinsuat said.

“Nevertheless, we cannot completely discount the possibility of the President’s loyal and persistent supporters attempting to persuade him to stick around after 2022. The numbers from the Pahayag VisMin survey make it plausible that we might see the same sort of grassroots ‘Draft Duterte’ movement we saw in 2016, a second time around,” he added.

Sinsuat also noted that while it was expected for the Dutertes and their allies to come out strong in the Visayas and Mindanao, Llamanzares and Domagoso, who were not close Duterte allies, have shown an impressive performance in the areas.

Poe brand

Poe also emerged strong among the candidates that were likely to be voted. Sinsuat said “this type of question is well-suited to gauge the general voting predisposition of voters at this early stage more than two years before the elections, when voters are opening to the possibility of voting for several different candidates.”

The survey showed that 38.5 percent of Visayan respondents and 32.9 percent of Mindanaoan respondents were likely to vote Poe for president if she ran. Meanwhile, 34.5 percent of Visayans and 27.4 percent of Mindanaoans were likely to vote for her as vice president.

“It appears that Senator Poe still has one of the strongest national brands of any politician today. We have to remember that if President Duterte didn’t seemingly come out of nowhere to take the presidential election by storm in 2016, Senator Poe might very well have been elected president instead. Her brand is still presidential in the eyes of many, even for those who live outside her traditional power base in Luzon. She seems to be in a good position to make another run for Malacañang in 2022, if that is what she desires,” Sinsuat said.

Domagaso also showed good performance, garnering 31.6 percent of Visayan respondents and 23.2 percent of Mindanaoan respondents. Meanwhile, 32.7 percent of Visayans and 24.7 of Mindanaoans were likely to vote for him as vice president.

“It is incredible that a fresh-faced first-term mayor from the National Capital Region would put up such respectable presidential polling numbers in Visayas and Mindanao at this early stage in his career. He’s not even a national elective official. It just goes to show that ‘Yorme Fever’ isn’t a localized phenomenon — TV and social media have clearly spread the fever all the way from north to south. Mayor Isko’s kind of political star power is a rarity. I think a lot of eyes will be on Mayor Isko over the coming months and years to see whether he’ll stay in Manila or make the leap to national politics,” Sinsuat said.

Sinsuat said it was still too early to make definitive presumptions for the upcoming elections but it was apparent that “subtle preparations have already begun.”

He added that a lot could still happen between now and the deadline of filing of candidates in October 2021. (IAMIGO/CNS)


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