With some eight months to the Argentine primaries when presidential hopefuls for the October election to reelect or oust Mauricio Macri will be chosen, pollster Opinaia, shows that most pre-candidates have a greater negative than positive image. This is possible because of the disenchantment of Argentines with their political system and economic situation.
The study has chosen 13 potential pre-candidates, and the opinion poll included 2.500 interviews in all of Argentina, between 11 December and January first. Although Opinaia works mainly for the business sector, it has done political surveys for its clients, and its forecasts in the 2015 and 2017 elections proved to be very much to the point.
In effect of the 13 names, which could integrate the presidential ticket, only two had a positive margin, they are ex Economy minister Roberto Lavagna and the current governor of Buenos Aires province, Maria Eugenia Vidal.
Lavagna, who could be a converging candidate for the divided Peronist opposition, and attractive enough to drain votes from the current coalition electorate, has a 9% very positive image, 30% positive, against a 23%s lighly negative, and 13% decisively negative. However Lavagna has a strong back draw since he left effective office over a decade ago and his public figure and/or name is known to only 24% of interviewees.
If this condition is left aside, and only taking into account those who replied about his image, the net result is 52% positive and 48% negative.
Lavagna should be recalled was instrumental in helping put Argentina's back on its feet following the 2001/02 meltdown of the economy, until then president Nestor Kirchner forced him to leave in 2005, after the minister questioned the awarding of public works' contracts.
The other positive figure is governor Vidal, with a net image of two points, 51% positive and 49% negative. But she is well known and 92% replied they are aware of her name and job. Her image figures with a 23% most positive rating, 25% positive, and 18% negative and 27% most negative.
On the image negative net side the most outstanding pre candidates are current president Macri and his predecessor, and indicted in several corruption cases, Senator Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. However there are some several middle of road hopefuls, a few of which had previous presidential ambitions.
They are current lawmakers Margarita Stolbizer with a net negative of 10 points as a consequence of a 45%/55% balance. Elisa Carrió, with a 44%/56% negative equation, and Sergio Massa, who disputed with Macri and Cristina Fernandez the 2015 election, his positive image is 34% and negative 66%.
Quite surprising but so are the results for Macri and Cristina Fernandez. According to the Opinaia poll, the president has a positive image of 40% but 60% negative, while Senator Cristina, 38% and 62%.
And what if elections were to take place this Sunday, Macri's reelection bid would attract 28%, and Cristina Fernandez, 26%, a technical no difference when you have a 2% plus/minus error margin. They are followed by Sergio Massa, 11%, the undecided 13% and 19% who would chose other candidate options.