Pulse Asia poll: Poe, admin candidates keep lead; 2 opposition bets in

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 11) — Reelectionist Senator Grace Poe maintained her lead in the latest Pulse Asia pre-election survey that was still dominated by administration candidates.

The nationwide poll conducted March 23-27 and released Thursday showed that Poe, an independent candidate, remained the top choice in the Senate race with seven in 10 respondents or 72.6 percent saying they would vote for her. Another reelectionist, Senator Cynthia Villar of the Nacionalista Party stayed put on the second spot, with 63.7 percent of the respondents supporting her Senate bid.

Although only the top 12 candidates will clinch Senate seats in the May 13 midterm elections, the latest Pulse Asia survey named 16 bets who have a statistical chance of winning. A total of 1,800 respondents were interviewed for the survey which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percent and a 95 percent confidence level. Respondents were asked to pick up to 12 personalities they would vote for if the polls were held during the survey period.

Candidates of the ruling PDP-Laban party grabbed four spots, with former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go at the third to fifth spot. Former Philippine National Police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa was at the sixth to ninth spot, former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino at the 10th to 16th spot, and Senator Koko Pimentel at the 11th to 16th spot. Candidates officially endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte include Senator Sonny Angara at the third to fourth spot, Rep. Pia Cayetano at the fourth to sixth spot, and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos at the ninth to 12th spot.

Also in the list of probable winners were former and incumbent senators Lito Lapid (fifth to eighth spot), Nancy Binay (sixth to ninth), Bong Revilla (seventh to 10th), Jinggoy Estrada (10th to 16th), and Serge Osmeña (11th to 16th).

Meanwhile, only two "Otso Diretso" senatorial candidates showed a chance of winning, based on the survey: Senator Bam Aquino and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas who shared the 11th spot with other candidates. During the February survey, only Roxas made the cut. His performance in the latest survey, however, is down by three spots. The remaining six opposition bets lagged behind.

The private pollster also noted that less than half or only 42 percent of the respondents have a complete senatorial slate, with a few weeks left in the campaign season. Most of the respondents voted for only nine or 10 bets.