Two out of three Argentines reject a third re-election for Cristina Fernandez
Two out of three Argentines reject the proposal of reforming the constitution opening the way for a third consecutive mandate for President Cristina Kirchner, according to pollster Poliarquía Consultores and published on Sunday in Buenos Aires daily La Nacion.
Rejection to a possible third re-election cuts across the political and social spectrum of Argentina, including among those who support the president and her policies: 39% said they were against such an initiative.
The public opinion poll with 1.000 interviews covering the whole of Argentina also shows a 52% positive image of Cristina Fernandez against 47% negative, which is just above the percentages a few months before the death (October 2010) of her husband former president Nestor Kirchner and eleven points below a year ago when a few weeks later she was re-elected for the first time with a strong majority and overwhelming distance over all the other candidates.
The poll shows that disagreement with the constitutional amendments including the re-election clause (currently limited to one four year period at a time) is almost total among those October 2011 opposition voters and reaches 95%. Geographically in the city of Buenos Aires the rejection is the highest, 81% but in the metropolitan area, the stronghold of the government, such an option is supported by 36%, meaning they would accept a third consecutive mandate for Cristina Fernandez.
Also among the young there seems to be an inclination with support standing at 35%. The poll does not include those aged 16 to 18, which the government is sponsoring in Congress by amending the Electoral Code and which is to be discussed next week.
Based on these percentages it could be said that the constitutional reform won’t make it. But Fabian Perechodnik analyst from Poliarquia warns that experience shows ‘Kirchnerism’ has a great communicational capacity to overturn in its favour even adverse public opinion. Although “current social circumstances are far more adverse than those in the last election when Cristina Fernandez won by a 54% windfall in October 2011”.
To gauge such circumstances, ‘social humour’, Poliarquía has a “Citizen Optimism index” which reflects the spirit of Argentines based on a combination of several questions. This index since April has become pessimist, following a long period of optimism that took off in early 2010. The descending curve was interrupted last May when the nationalization of oil and gas corporation YPF. But since then the slide is steeper.
However and contrary to some recent opinion polls, Poliarquía states that the performance of Cristina Fernandez has more support than rejection, 51% to 47%. This is less than a year ago, but above other Augusts: in 2008 it was 36 points and the following, 34.
Poliarquía also points out that the president’s support is very strong among those voters form 18 to 30 years, with 57%. Among those over 50, it drops to 46 while rejection climbs to 51%. Men are more positive about Cristina, 57% than women, 46%. Regionally the capital Buenos Aires remains an anti Kirchner bastion with 70% rejection while in the metropolitan area, the Kirchner voting turf, support is just above 60%.
Another interesting aspect of the opinion poll is the love or hate reasons. The positive qualities of Cristina Fernandez are her “social security” policies, her performance as well as her impetus and personal strength and will.
“These are the same positive aspects which surfaced since 2010 among those supporting government. It’s a clear, steady, straight line”, said Perechodnik.
On the other side, those who disapprove of her government point out as most negative her “performance” and personally her intolerable “arrogant character”.