ADMINISTRATION candidate Manuel Roxas II was in a statistical tie with Senator Grace Poe in a non-commissioned pre-election presidential survey released by D' Strafford Research & Strategies Inc. on Wednesday, April 20.

In the first of a series of public opinion surveys conducted by the research firm, Roxas of the ruling Liberal Party enjoyed a slight lead over Poe.

Roxas was chosen by 26.2 percent of the 2,800 verified voters surveyed from April 13 to 18, while Poe was preferred by 25.9 percent.

Tied at third place were Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Jejomar Binay with 20.4 percent and 19.1 percent, respectively.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago occupied the last spot with 4.1 percent.

2016 Elections
D’ Strafford Research & Strategies Inc. April 2016 survey

JM Balancar, project director of D' Strafford, said the results of the survey surprised them, as it was different from the results public opinion surveys released by other independent pollsters.

One of the issues that dominated the headlines during survey period was the "rape joke" of Duterte during a campaign event in Quezon City.

Balancar said the survey was non-commissioned and the research firm is not affiliated with any political group.

The project director said the undecided segment is crucial in the tight presidential race, which is now at 4.2 percent.

According to D' Strafford, Roxas is the overwhelming candidate of choice in the Visayas with 40 percent, followed by Poe (21 percent), Duterte (20 percent), Binay (14 percent), and Santiago (3 percent).

Poe is the preferred candidate in the National Capital Region with 31 percent, followed by Duterte (23 percent), Roxas (20 percent), Binay (15 percent), and Santiago (5 percent).

Duterte dominated the Mindanao region with 30 percent rating, followed by Roxas (25 percent), Poe (20 percent), Binay (16 percent) and Santiago (5 percent).

During the survey, the question on voting preference was, "Kung ang eleksyon ay gaganapin ngayon, sino ang pinakamalamang ninyong iboboto bilang president at bise presidente ng Pilipinas?" (If elections were held today, whom would you most probably vote for as president and vice president of the Philippines).

According to the survey, of 26.2 percent who chose Roxas, 18.2 percent will "definitely not change their mind," while 4.9 percent can still easily change their mind.

On Poe, of the 25.1 percent who chose her, 20.1 percent will not change their vote, while 3.4 percent can still change their mind.

As for Duterte, only 13.5 percent said they will definitely not change their mind and 6.8 percent can still easily change their mind.

In the vice presidential race, Roxas' running mate Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo was chosen by 32 percent preference rating. She is 7 percent ahead of Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who got 25 percent, while Senator Francis Escudero had 23 percent. Duterte's running mate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, received 17 percent, followed by Antonio Trillanes IV (2 percent) and Gregorio Honasan II (1 percent).

The survey used face-to-face interviews of 2,800 validated voters, 330 for National Capital Region; 1,235 for Balance Luzon; 585 for Visayas, and 650 for Mindanao.

It used sampling error margin of plus-minus 1.9 percent for the national and plus-minus 3 percent in other areas. (Sunnex)