President's backing alone not enough for Senate win: pollster


Posted at Jan 11 2019 03:01 PM

A woman cradles her baby as she votes in a Manila precinct. Filipinos will elect 12 senators, congressmen and local chief executives in May. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Senatorial candidates in the May polls cannot rely solely on endorsements from popular figures like President Rodrigo Duterte, a pollster said Friday.

Only 2 of 15 candidates with a "statistical chance" of winning are newcomers, while the rest are either seeking reelection or a Senate comeback or are supported by the President, according to a Dec. 14-21 Pulse Asia poll.

Previous surveys showed that voters also look at the "achievements and potentials" of senatorial candidates, said Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Maria Tabunda.

"If the connection is there, and the popularity of the endorser is there, it could be a lot," she told ANC's Early Edition.

Senatorial hopefuls cannot simply count on an "endorsement by itself," and they still need "something that is of his own, achievements, potentials," she said.

"Not all our voters are voting one way. There will be voters who will say, you are close to the President, okay na. Others will ask 'What can you do?' Tabunda said.

Candidates who land in the surveys' top 12 before the actual elections should not be complacent, she said.

"It can influence a few and some voters to vote for those coming out of the surveys but it is still their choice," she said.