By ELLEN T. TORDESILLAS
THE latest survey conducted by the Magdalo Group among voters in vote-rich Lingayen-Lucena corridor has Sen. Grace Poe leading the 2016 presidential race.
Conducted two weeks ago (May 18 to 20) among 3,000 respondents, the Magdalo survey, just like what they did in their national survey last April, had two scenarios.
Scenario One had 10 candidates while Scenario Two had five candidates.
In both scenarios, Poe leads the contest.
In Scenario One, 30 per cent of the respondents said they want her to be the next president.
This is the first survey that puts Poe in the lead. This is not suprising as her ratings had been consistently increasing while the numbers of Vice President Jejomar Binay has been going down since the investigation of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee on the overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2 and other anomalous projects involving him.
Still, Binay placed second with 25.7 percent followed by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada with 11.5 per cent. Sen. Miriam Santiago was fourth with 8.8 per cent.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas of the Liberal Party and independent Sen. Chiz Escudero had the same score: five percent.
Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte got 4.4 per cent of the respondents’ nod; Sen. Alan Cayetano 4.9; Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr, 2,8; and former Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, 2.5.
In Scenario Two, the names given to the respondents were Poe, Binay, Roxas, Cayetano, and Duterte.
Poe led with 43.5 percent while Binay got 31.2 per cent.
Roxas moved to third place but with less than ten (9.8) per cent followed by Cayetano with 7.9 per cent and Duterte, 6.6 per cent.
Historically the Lingayen-Lucena corridor is the most vote-rich area in the country. It covers the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Quezon, Rizal, Tarlac and Zambales.
Comprising 40 per cent of the total number of voters in the country, the corridor usually determines the winners in the election.
Ironically, Poe’s father, movie actor Fernando Poe Jr, was the only post-1986 People Power election winner in the Lingayen-Lucena corridor who was not proclaimed president.
That was in the 2004 elections which was marred by the “Hello Garci” controversy, a taped conversation between Gloria Arroyo and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano on how to manipulate the canvassing of the votes to make her win by at least one million votes over FPJ.
It was said that the “Hello Garci” cheating in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was triggered by the massive lead by FPJ over Arroyo in the Lingayen-Lucena corridor. The Arroyo camp panicked when the votes from that area came in she had to call Garcillano and order him to give her enough votes from ARMM to offset FPJ’s lead. That resulted in the tampering of certificates of canvass. There were several cases of the number of votes in the COCs exceeding the number of registered voters in the area.
Households covered by the Lingayen-Lucena corridor are the most urbanized in the country. It has the highest concentration of television, radio and internet connections, which are the main sources of information of voters.
The Magdalo group has been conducting surveys since the first senatorial run of its leader, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, in 2007. The survey is designed and supervised by Trillanes’ chief-of-staff , Rolando “Oyie” Averilla.