Duterte, undeniably, is a very strong candidate. He has a very wide following in the Mindanao and the Visayas and is quite well known in metropolitan cities. His candidacy would cut a swath across all other bases’ of other candidates, and would eventually weaken others, particularly Mar Roxas’ and Grace Poe’s mass bases. This will likewise eat some segments of Binay’s strong and stable mass base.
Duterte’s shoot at the top is likened to Pnoy’s trajectory last 2010, with Grace Poe-Llamanzares assuming what Manny Villar was at that time.
The thing here, Poe is reputedly the strongest for now, and many expect her popularity to wane a little further down South as the campaign progresses. Like what NPR predicted here, the public fascination about Poe-Llamanzares has reached its peak with the Pulse Asia survey, and is expected to plateau in the next few weeks, not if she can address the monumental issues bedeviling her right now.
Duterte’s entry into the game would strengthen the waning campaign of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. Cayetano needed a great push and Duterte’s endorsement of his vice presidential candidacy would surely impact on his ratings.
Truthfully, Cayetano is a better candidate than Escudero (who remains no. 1 in the surveys) and Bongbong Marcos. However, Cayetano needs a little fine tuning in his communications. He need not assume an Alpha Male stance since Duterte would already fill this role.
He needs to position himself like his father---human rights and public interest advocate. He needs this to differentiate him from Bongbong who is drum beating his loyalists, Escudero (who is positioning himself as a reformer) and Trillianes who is not entirely sure how he wants to project himself.
The thing is---most voters are female and if Poe-Llamanzares communication handlers are okey, then, the next thing that they need to do is sustain the momentum. However, time is against them.