Five weeks ahead of primaries and three months away from mid term congressional election, public opinion polls indicate that President Cristina Fernandez could be heading to a serious defeat, particularly in the province of Buenos Aires, which with 37% of the national vote is decisive for any victory pretension.
Opinion polls published by Buenos Aires main dailies La Nacion and Clarin indicate that Cristina Fernandez Buenos Aires province candidate for the Lower House, Martin Insaurralde is ten percentage points below former cabinet chief and head of the main opposition group Renewal Front, Sergio Massa.
Massa who is the mayor of the prosperous county of Tigre has a 35.1% and 33.7% support while the Victory Front candidate Insaurralde follows with 25.2% and 22.8%, according to the different pollsters.
“Besides having a wide lead among those voters contrary to government, Massa also manages to attract an important portion of the Kirchnerite electorate” said the head of pollster Poliarquía, Alejandro Cattenberg.
He added that Insaurralde, who is mayor of Lomas de Zamora County, one of the most populated of the Buenos Aires city periphery is little known in the rest of the Buenos Aires province and also suffers from his scarce identification among voters of his name with Cristina Fernandez.
The government of CFK plans to reverse the situation beginning Friday when the campaign officially begins and there will be a massive display of electoral spots and billboards of Insaurralde with President Cristina Fernandez and with popular Buenos Aires governor Daniel Scioli.
The province of Buenos Aires represents 37% of Argentina’s electorate and will be renewing 25 members of the Lower House next 27 October, following on the 11 August primaries.
Another non Kirchnerite candidate, Francisco de Narváez has 16.2% support according to Management & Fit (published by Clarin), and 12.8% for Poliarquia. A left wing candidate, Margarita Stolbizer collects 12.2% and 13.9% of vote intention.
But in the City of Buenos Aires, the Victory Front faces an even more challenging situation. According to Management & Fit candidate Juan Cabandie has 15% support which is half that of the leader of a centre-left coalition headed by Elisa Carrió, and five percentage points less that rabbi Sergio Bergman running for the conservative coalition PRO, that currently rules the city.
The Senate candidate for the Conservatives, Gabriela Michetti is also leading with 34.9% of vote intention with a 13 percentage points lead over Daniel Filmus, Cristina Fernandez faithful Senator and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Last but not least the Victory Front is also trailing in the province of Santa Fe, the fourth most important electoral district. Socialist leader Hermes Binner had a thirty points lead over his runner up, Miguel del Sel and in Cordoba (third most important electoral district) the dissident Peronist Juan Schiaretti is forecasted to win.
Cristina Fernandez needs to retain the current control of Congress if by chance she wishes to promote a constitutional amendment that would allow her to run for a third consecutive mandate. Likewise if she wants to have some initiative in the last two years of her current second four years, since according to the results she could end up being a ‘lame duck’, under the watchful eye of the new leader that emerges from the October election and will most probably be a leading hopeful for the 2015 presidential bid.