Aquino posts double-digit lead in survey as Villar continues to stall

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Liberal Party standard-bearer Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's lead over Nacionalista Party candidate Senator Manuel "Manny" Villar Jr. widened to double digits three weeks before the presidential elections, a Social Weather Stations survey, as reported by BusinessWorld, showed.
Aquino's lead over Villar increased from nine points last month to 12 points in the survey conducted from April 16 to 19, owing to the former's single-point gain to 38 percent, and the latter's two point-drop to 26 percent.
Based on the voter turnout of 77 percent in the 2004 presidential election, Aquino would have won by some 4.7 million votes over Nacionalista Party candidate Sen. Manuel "Manny" Villar Jr. had the presidential election been held in the third week of April.
Aquino would have garnered 14.8 million votes of the 39 million votes cast (77 percent of the 50.7 registered voters) and Villar 10.2 million.
Black propaganda launched against him by the camp of Villar, ranging from a bogus psychiatric report to a fake epileptic attack, have backfired on the the NP candidate, the LP standard-bearer said.
Aquino said the survey results showed that his core base of supporters had "solidified" behind him as they felt that their candidate had been attacked "below the belt."
That Villar's ratings have been falling showed that some of his core supporters did not agree with his negative campaign style, Aquino added.
Deposed President Joseph Estrada remained in third place with 17 percent (down two points). He was followed by former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. (9 percent, up 3 points), Senator Richard Gordon (2 percent, down one point) and evangelist Eduardo Villanueva (2 percent).
Senator Jamby Madrigal, Nicanor Perlas and John Carlos "JC" de los Reyes did not get more than half a percent each.
In terms of votes, Estrada would have gotten 6.6 million; Teodoro, 3.5 million; Gordon and Villanueva, about 780,800 each; Madrigal, 117,000; and Perlas and De los Reyes - 78,000 each.
A total of 2,400 registered voters participated in the survey, which asked them who they would vote for by filling out ballots. The survey had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
Aquino did not have much of a headstart in February, when the election period started. In a February 24 to 28 SWS survey, he was ahead of Villar by only two points (36 percent versus 34 percent), practically a statistical tie because the margin of error was 2 percentage points.
The LP presidential candidate's ratings have barely changed since—37 percent in March and 38 percent this month.
But Villar's consistently dropping ratings (from 34 percent in February and 28 percent in March to 26 percent this month) have given Aquino a considerable lead.
In the latest survey, Aquino led in all geographic areas and socioeconomic classes.
Aquino's lead over Villar was most pronounced among members of class ABC (31 points), where the former got the support of 53 percent and the latter, 22 percent.
Aquino was ahead by 13 points (38 versus 25 percent) even in the "masa" class D. The only category where he did not have a double-digit lead over Villar was in class E, where he only had a single-point lead at 32 percent.
Six percent of respondents were undecided about their presidential preference. The category includes those who supported disqualified candidate Vetellano Acosta and those who submitted unreadable responses.
Meanwhile, Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas III remained the top contender for the vice-presidency, while Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay climbed up to second place in a statistical tie with Senator Loren Legarda, according to the latest Social Weather Stations survey.
Of the 2,400 registered voters surveyed from April 16 to 19, a total of 39 percent said they would vote Roxas for vice president if elections were held at the time. This is a three-point drop from his March rating.
Support for Roxas has been declining since December 2009, but he maintains a considerable lead over his rivals.
Meanwhile, Binay gained four points to 25 percent, placing him in second place with Legarda, who lost a point to 24 percent, given the survey's sampling error margin of plus-or-minus two percentage points.
Binay's ratings have been on the rise since December, while Legarda's have been dropping.
The remaining vice presidential candidates' ratings are as follows: 3 percent for former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Bayani Fernando, 2 percent for Edu Manzano, 1 percent for Perfecto Yasay, and less than half a percent each for Dominador Chipeco and Jose "Jay" Sonza.

Source:Philippine Daily Inquirer

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