Poe slightly ahead of Duterte in new Pulse Asia survey

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Presidential candidates Sen. Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Independent candidate Sen. Grace Poe maintained lead in the latest Pulse Asia presidential survey conducted in the first week of March.

She is very slightly ahead of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who secured second spot after overtaking Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Related: Poe leads presidential race; Binay, Roxas statistically tied in second — SWS

In the ABS-CBN-commissioned nationwide survey conducted from March 1 to 6, 28 percent of Filipinos said they will vote for Poe if the 2016 elections were held during the survey period.

Closely behind her is Duterte with 24 percent of votes, followed by Binay with 21 percent.

Since the survey has a margin of error of ±1.9 percent with a 95 percent confidence level, Poe edged Duterte by only 0.2 percent.

In the last survey conducted in February, it was Poe and Binay who were statistically tied for the top spot.

But in the March survey, Binay dropped three percentage points and is now statistically tied with Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II who gained 20 percent of votes.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago still lagged far behind with only three percent of the respondents’ votes.

A total of 2,600 registered voters were asked to respond to the question “Kung ang darating na eleksyon sa Mayo 2016 ay gaganapin ngayon, sino po ang inyong iboboto bilang PRESIDENTE NG PILIPINAS?

[Translation: “If the May 2016 elections were held today, who would you vote for as PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES?”]

Related: What is your presidential candidate's platform of government?

Poe is the top presidential choice of 36 percent of Filipinos living in Luzon. Almost three in 10 or 29 percent of voters in poor income class D also voted for her. 

Duterte again swept Mindanao votes with 47 percent while Roxas led in the Visayas with 37 percent.

Poe (30%), Duterte (23%) and Binay (23%) are the top presidential choice for Metro Manila residents. Together with Roxas, these four presidential candidates statistically shared survey results in income classes ABC and E.

Escudero, Marcos statistically tied for top spot in VP race

Poe’s running mate Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero led among the vice presidential candidates with one in four (25%) of respondents voting for him.

He is statistically tied with Sen. Fedinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. who gained 22 percent of votes.

Related: Marcos, Escudero lead latest Pulse Asia survey held in 30th EDSA anniversary week

LP bet Leni Robredo is on second spot with 21 percent – a three-percent increase from her survey results in the February survey.

Senators Gringo Honasan and Antonio Trillanes IV both gained single-digit percentage points with six and five percent, respectively.

Duterte, Binay camps react

Although United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)'s Binay dropped to the third spot in the latest survey, his camp believes that the core support for him remains solid.

“The Vice President will continue to go around the country to cover more ground and directly talk to the people,” said Atty. Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman in a statement on Tuesday (March 15).

LOOK: Presidential candidates' campaign trail interactive map

Meanwhile, Duterte’s camp said they are confident the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) bet will win the real elections on May 9.

“We believe that people are now realizing that only through the political agenda of Duterte, whose style of leadership is centered on addressing the issues and needs of the people, that the country will be able to truly experience meaningful and real change,” said Bohol Mayor Leoncio Jun Evasco, Duterte’s campaign manager.