With the campaign period for this year’s midterm polls just a month away, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero will go into the hustings carrying the all-important top ranking among 84 candidates, based on a number of year-end surveys.
Escudero ranked first in the latest survey conducted by polling agency StratPOLLS conducted from Dec. 5 to 14 last year. Before that, he also ranked first in the Nov. 10-23 survey of pollster Pulse Asia.
The senator likewise topped the Social Weather Stations survey conducted from Aug. 31 to Sept. 7 last year. Since May 2012, Escudero has not ranked lower than second in the polls, running neck-to-neck with fellow reelectionist Sen. Loren Legarda.
Escudero is the only independent candidate thus far in the top 12, although former Movies and Television Ratings and Classification Board chairperson Grace Poe, also an independent candidate, made the biggest leap, barging into the Magic 12 last month from 15th place.
The December StratPOLLS survey showed Poe landing in the 12th spot, edging out Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn.
Poe is the daughter of the late movie great and presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., who ran against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the 2004 presidential elections.
Poe lost the elections but Arroyo was accused of rigging the polls, and Poe was widely believed to have won the vote.
Pollsters are expected to conduct another survey within the month heading into the campaign period.
Resolution 9385 of the Commission on Elections states that the election period starts on Jan. 13, 2013 and ends June 12. The midterm elections are scheduled for May 13.
The resolution also states the campaign period for senators and party-list groups starts Feb. 12, while the campaign period for House of Representatives and local officials starts March 29. The campaign period ends May 11.