Barely a week after the Alberto Fernández-Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) ticket for the upcoming presidential elections in Argentina was announced, the unexpected Peronist-Kirchnerist pairing is over ten points ahead of incumbent President Mauricio Macri and whomever he picks as his running mate, according to two polls sponsored by the center-left Página 12 newspaper, it was reported.
CFK's taking second place would thus become a wise move to break through the former two-time president's ceiling with her former Cabinet Chief's appeal to non-Kirchnerites.
Alberto has also drawn support from a number of governors and mayors, Página 12 said. Half of Argentina's voters rate Macri's tenure between bad or very bad, the newspaper added.
Despite that, Macri has insisted he will seek reelection and ruled out what is commonly referred to as Plan V, should current Buenos Aires Governor María Eugenia Vidal become the ruling Cambienos coalition's candidate.
In this scenario, the surveys were carried out by the Center for Public Opinion (CEOP), led by Roberto Bacman, and the Trespuntozero consulting firm, headed by Shila Vilker.
Each pollster interviewed by phone thousands of people nationwide respecting the proportions in age, gender and socioeconomic level with a particular interest in increasing unemployment and the shrinking of real wages due to inflation in addition to a sharp contraction in the economy in general.
CEOP said 64.4 percent of those interviewed considered the economy to be on a wrong path, while merely 26 percent agreed with the policies by Macri, who has called for more sacrifices on the part of the people, who need to understand.
Trespuntozero found out 51.7 percent of the voters want a government change, although an additional 5.5 percent would like some of Macri's achievements to remain after he is gone, which brings the total voters who see the need for a Cambiemos departure to 57.2 percent against 34.5 percent in favor of a continuation.
Bacman and Vilker agree that CFK's running for the vice-presidency meant no loss of votes for the Peronists.
CEOP indicated 39.3 percent would vote for the Fernandez while Macri / Cambiemos would gather 29.7 of the votes. But CEOP added that with 7 percent of voters still unresolved, the Peronist ticket could easily surpass 40 percent.
If any given candidate gets over 40 percent of the votes and the runner up falls behind 30 percent, there would be no runoff, according to the Constitutional provision reformed in 1994.
Both pollsters also concurred the elections will be heavily polarised, that is most votes will go to either major force.
Trespuntozero views the difference at almost 12 percentage points in favor of Fernandez-Fernandez (42.2 against 30.6) over Macri, due in part to Alberto's candidacy which has attracted voters who up until then chose Federal Alternative (Alternativa Federal)'s Roberto Lavagna and Sergio Massa.
Trespuntozero also assessed the possibility of a second round but downplayed it. According to their figures, Alberto would win by 49.5 to 35.7 of Macri. And even under Plan V the Fernandez are still 14 points ahead, the study showed.
CFK's ceiling also went up. Rejection of the former President fell to 44.6 percent, Vilker explained. Which is why more than 50 percent would vote or perhaps would vote for the Fernandez. Such an achievement is due to Macri's disastrous economic management that makes the CFK years look glorious.
The popularity of Alberto and Cristina seems to be on the rise. CFK has a positive image of around 47 percent, according to Bacman, who added Alberto's was of 43.5 and going up.
On the other hand, Macri has 56.6 percent who say would not vote for him under any circumstances, Vilker explained.
Bacman also pointed out most other candidates actual and potential, have felt the impact if the Fernandez-Fernandez ticket.
Both pollsters are now focused on whom Lavagna and Massa choose to support, which could change the outcome.
The last word is yet to be said. But moods are expressing that there is a force in full offensive mode to face the oarsmen of economic depression who are even uncertain about their own leadership, Página 12 concluded.