It’s still too early to tell if Vice President Jejomar Binay’s 10-percent drop in Pulse Asia’s presidential voter preference ratings could have a strategic effect in his plans to join the presidential race in 2016.
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian pointed out to the fact that when Binay declared that he is running for vice president in 2009, he literally started from scratch with his rating at only 3 percentage points.
Gatchalian, a stalwart of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), noted this was then considered to be “a long shot” from the leading vice presidential contenders Senators Mar Roxas of Liberal Party and Loren Legarda of NPC.
“But look what happened, from being a cellar dweller, Binay’s numbers started to rise, overtaking Senator Legarda and eventually wrestling the vice presidency from erstwhile frontrunner and sure winner Mar Roxas by a margin of more than 800,000 votes,” he said.
Gatchalian, whose NPC party is currently allied with the administration, said Binay has proven that he is capable of making a comeback, expressing confidence that the vice president will be able to surmount the temporary setback in his ratings.
“The drop in his ratings could serve both as a challenge and a wake-up call for VP Binay that there is no room for complacency since the presidential elections is still more than a year away and many things can still happen on the way to 2016,” Gatchalian said.
Based on the Pulse Asia survey, the drop in Binay’s presidential voter preference ratings was across the board: in each of the four major geographic blocs, and in each of the three major demographic categories.
In the National Capital Region, which traditionally votes opposition, the Vice President’s rating fell to 33 in September from 44 in June. In the rest of Luzon, the bloc with the most number of voters, it declined to 32 from 41.
In the Visayas, his rating dropped from 37 to 27, and in Mindanao, from 42 to 33. (Nationwide, the survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 3, but is higher for geographic areas, at plus or minus 6.)
Measured by socio-economic status, Binay’s rating dropped dramatically. In Class ABC, it fell by 13 percentage points, from 36 to 23. The decline in Class D mirrored his national result: down 10, from 42 to 32. Relatively speaking, his support in Class E held up best, slipping only by 7, from 40 to 33.
In its press statement, Pulse Asia listed several key developments that dominated the news headlines at the time the survey was conducted. The first two were Binay-related:
“The ongoing Senate investigation into the reported overpriced Makati City Hall Building II, with witnesses claiming, among other things, that the bidding for the said project was rigged to favor Hillmarc’s [sic] Construction Corporation and that Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay received kickbacks from various Makati City projects while serving as its local chief executive.”
The other news event was the “suggestion made by Albay Governor Joey Salceda to impeach Vice-President Binay due to the charges of corruption raised against him in connection with the construction of the allegedly overpriced building in Makati City which began under his watch as Makati City mayor – a proposal rejected by politicians allied with and critical of the current national administration.” (R. Burgos)