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Pulse Asia surveys show: Villafuertes for landslide wins in CamSur elections

By Ruel Saldico

Young entrepreneur Luigi LRV Villafuerte is the runaway winner in the gubernatorial race in the province of Camarines Sur, based on the most recent pre-election survey by the prominent pollster Pulse Asia that showed him getting a third more than the combined votes of his four other rivals that include a former Cabinet secretary and the incumbent vice governor.

Pulse Asia’s survey last Jan. 12-17 showed Luigi LRV Villafuerte being preferred by 59 percent of the voters, followed by former budget secretary and ex-House majority leader Rolando Andaya Jr., who was picked by 35 percent of the respondents and Vice Governor and singer Imelda Papin, who was chosen by 4 percent.

The two other candidates for governor, Ireneo Bongat Jr., who had an unsuccessful run for a Sanggunian Panlalawigan (SP) seat in the 2019 elections, and businessman Richard Cabal, were chosen by a paltry 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, of the respondents.

The January survey, which had a sample size of 1,800 respondents from the province’s five congressional districts—and excluding the independent component city of Naga—had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percent at the provincial level and plus or minus 5.2 percent at the district level.

According to the Pulse Asia survey, the province’s registered voters totalled 916,397 in 2019, with an actual turnout on election day of 84 percent or 771,475 voters.

This time around, Pulse Asia said 967,757 voters had registered for the May 9, 2022 elections. Computed on the same turnout of 84 percent, a total of 814,713 voters are expected to troop to the poll precincts in the May 2022 balloting, it added.

Survey result for Governor, for 2nd District representative and for 5th District representative

Based on this estimated turnout of voters, the 59 percent of Pulse Asia’s respondents who preferred Luigi LRV Villafuerte in its January survey translates into 480,701 votes—apparently ensuring a runaway win as it already represents more than half the number of voters expected to go out and vote (814,713) and even bigger than the 410,046 who elected his elder brother, Gov. Miguel Luis “Migz” Villafuerte, in the 2019 gubernatorial election.

In contrast, the 35 percent who preferred Andaya in Pulse Asia’s January survey translates into 283,669 votes—or barely a third of the province’s voters who are expected to vote in May.

Official Commission on Elections (Comelec) data showed, though, that Camarines Sur actually has a higher number of 1,190,072 registered voters for the summer balloting across the province’s five legislative districts comprising 1,036 barangays. Based on Pulse Asia’s estimate of an 84 percent voter turnout, almost 1 million (999,660) voters are expected to participate in the May 9 polls.

And based on Pulse Asia’s survey results, the 59 percent who preferred Luigi LRV Villafuerte over his rivals, he is likely to get 589,799 votes on election day as against the 349,881 votes of Andaya, based on the pollster’s data that 35 percent preferred the former budget secretary.

This means that Luigi LRV Villafuerte enjoys a commanding lead of 239,918 votes—or about a fourth of the province’s expected votes of 999,660 on May 9—over Andaya, and will likely secure nearly 90,000 votes higher than a simple majority needed for victory.

The number of voters for Luigi LRV Villafuerte is also 179,753 votes bigger than the 410,046 who got his elder brother Migz elected as governor in 2019.

Andaya lost in the 2019 gubernatorial contest to Migz Villafuerte, who is on his third consecutive term and is now running for congressman in the fifth district of Camarines Sur.

Migz Villafuerte, the country’s youngest elected governor at 24 in 2013, is leading his opponent, Iriga City Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen, by a very huge margin in the contest for fifth district representative.

He was preferred by 71 percent of the respondents as against Alfelor-Gazmen’s 28 percent.

Based on the Comelec’s official list of 317,219 registered voters in the province’s fifth district and the 84 percent turnout rate of Pulse Asia, Migz Villafuerte is likely to get 189,189 votes from the 266,463 people who are estimated to vote on May 9, as against Alfelor-Gazmen’s 74,609 votes.

This means that Migz Villafuerte is leading Alfelor-Gazmen by 114,580 votes, or about two-thirds more than the number of people who will vote for the Iriga City mayor.

Two-term Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay’ Villafuerte, the father of the two leading candidates, is himself looking at a landslide victory in his bid for reelection, based on the same Pulse Asia survey, as he was picked by 87 percent of the respondents as against the 9 percent who chose his rival, Ronnie Abasola.

Using the Comelec list of 217,470 registered voters in the second district for the coming elections and Pulse Asia’s voter turnout of 84 percent, LRay Villafuerte is expected to get 158,926 votes from the 182,674 who are likely to go to the poll precincts in the summer polls, as against the estimated 16,440 votes for Abasola.

This represents a huge difference of 142,488 votes or about ten times the number who will vote for the incumbent congressman’s opponent.

In the contest for vice governor, Salvio Patrick Fortuno Jr., is ahead of all his opponents, according to the Pulse Asia poll, having been preferred by 52 percent of respondents, versus the 30 percent for SP member Gerard Pilapil (fourth district), 14 percent for SP member Nelson Julia (third district) and 2 percent for former college instructor Romeo Nicario.

Using the same 84 percent turnout projected by Pulse Asia, Fortuno is expected to get 519,823 votes (52 percent) as against the 299,898 (30 percent) for Pilapil and 139,952 (14 percent) for Julia. This means that Fortuno enjoys a lead of 219,925 votes over his closest rival, Pilapil, and a much bigger lead of 379,871 votes over Julia.

In Pulse Asia’s approval ratings for selected incumbent officials in Camarines Sur, LRay Villafuerte scored 83 percent and Migz Villafuerte, 72 percent.

As for trust ratings, LRay had a score of 80 percent; Migz Villafuerte, 75 percent; and Papin, 21 percent.

According to the same survey, Luigi LRV Villafuerte had a trust rating of 59 percent while Andaya had 43 percent.


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