MANNY Pacquiao's senatorial aspirations took a big hit as he had the largest drop among all candidates in the latest Pulse Asia survey released on Friday.
The boxing champ turned politician fell 12.1 percentage points after enjoying 46.9% voter support in the previous survey to 34.8% from the survey period of January to February, which incidentally covers the same period Pacquiao was involved in controversy over his comments on couples in same-sex marriages.
But according to ABS-CBN News, Pulse Asia research director Ana Maria Tabunda clarified that there's no clear connection between the controversy to the drop in the survey as, "there was no follow-up question in the survey so there is no way of knowing if it is linked to that."
The Sarangani congressman wasn't the only one who dropped percentage points in double digits as the February 15-20 survey revealed that joining Pacquiao with the huge drop were Kiko Pangilinan (-11.5) and Sergio Osmena III (-11.1). At least 12 of the top 15 bets also suffered drops in points and Tabunda offered no explanation for the trend.
In terms of rank, Pacquiao slid 3-4 spots down from 8-10 to 11-14, putting him close to the bottom of the 'magic 12.'
Survey respondents were asked to pick the 12 they will vote for among the 56 candidates from the Comelec-certified list of eligible bets as of January 20, 2016. And Senator Tito Sotto continued leading the survey with 63.6% voter support, although it also fell froma high of 68.8%.