MANILA, Philippines — With the latest Pulse Asia presidential survey results showing him advancing to the third place, the campaign manager of presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao said on Wednesday that the senator is a “dark horse” who could pull an upset in the May 9 elections.
In the latest survey results which was released just a week before May 9, Pacquiao still had a long way to go with just 7% of the respondents saying they would vote for him in the elections. His rating is a far cry from that of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who remained the frontrunner with a 55% rating, and Vice President Leni Robredo following far behind with 23%.
“My thought has always been that we are the dark horse in this 2022 elections. You won’t be the dark horse if you’re No. 1 or No. 2 but at No. 3 that’s really the dark horse position: You’re not expected to win but you can perhaps expect an upset in frontrunners,” Pacquiao’s campaign manager Buddy Zamora said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
Zamora said that even with the latest Pulse Asia survey, they expect around 16 million to 20 million votes for the senator come May 9, similar to the votes President Rodrigo Duterte got in the 2016 elections, who also placed third in pre-election surveys.
He said they are banking on the votes to be generated from Pacquiao’s vow to provide free housing and the support of the Christian community.
Zamora said they expect about 12 million votes in Pacquiao’s “libreng pabahay” campaign where they distributed about 35 million application forms for free housing and they are expecting about half of the Christian community, which they pegged at about 40 million, to vote for the senator in the May 9 polls.
“So we expect the winning vote to be somewhere around from 16 million to 20 million. I think these numbers will make out for the winner of the presidential elections like President Duterte won on 16.8 million in 2016,” he said.
“Perhaps this could be duplicated again in 2022, similar numbers,” Zamora added.
In the April 2016 Pulse Asia pre-election survey, Duterte led the preferred presidential bets with a 33% rating, while Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas and Senator Grace Poe were statistically tied at the second spot with a 22% and 21% rating, respectively.
Zamora said that in the last days of the campaign, Pacquiao will focus on vote-rich Cebu, where he is set to hold his miting de avance on May 6 before going home to General Santos City where he will hold another miting de avance on May 7.