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Argentines vote next Sunday an anticipation of October's presidential election

Monday, August 5th 2019 - 09:59 UTC
Full article 10 comments
The highly polarized election has Alberto Fernandez and Mauricio Macri monopolizing some 80% of the vote next Sunday The highly polarized election has Alberto Fernandez and Mauricio Macri monopolizing some 80% of the vote next Sunday
Crucial for president Macri's reelection will be the performance of Governor Vidal in the Buenos Aires province, where he is facing ex Economy minister Axel Kicillof  Crucial for president Macri's reelection will be the performance of Governor Vidal in the Buenos Aires province, where he is facing ex Economy minister Axel Kicillof

Public opinion polls in Argentina show a very close, polarized race between President Mauricio Macri and opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez before next Sunday's PASO primaries which are Open, Simultaneous and Mandatory, and most important a clear anticipation of what could happen in October's presidential election.

Fernandez is ahead of Macri in the primary but the current president would pull ahead in a potential November runoff vote, according to the latest poll by Argentine firm Management & Fit. In the primary, Fernandez is leading with 40.2% of voter intention to Macri’s 38.3%, a difference that’s within the poll’s margin of error. Third-placed candidate Roberto Lavagna would take 10.5% of votes, according to the poll.

“It’s an election that seems very polarized, with candidates that have more than 40% and it’s very close, there’s very little difference,” Mariel Fornoni, director of Management & Fit, said. Between Fernandez and Macri they monopolize some 80% of vote intention.

The poll shows in a potential November runoff scenario, Macri would win 45.4% of voter intentions and Fernandez would take 43.7%. The Management & Fit poll has a 2.2% margin of error.

Another survey commissioned by Brazilian investing firm BTG Pactual showed Macri and Fernandez in a technical tie in the primary: Macri had 37.7% of voter intention and Fernandez had 37.4%. BTG Pactual didn’t disclose the company that conducted the poll, which had a 3.1% margin of error.

This weekend marked the final day pollsters could publish their data before the Aug. 11 primary, which is effectively a major nationwide poll because all the parties have already chosen their candidate. While pollsters can share their findings with their clients, they cannot make them public. Polls may resume publication after the primary and before the Oct. 27 first round vote.

Fornoni noted that there are two keys for the primary: voter participation rate and the performance of Buenos Aires province Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal, a Macri ally facing a tough challenger in Axel Kicillof, a former economy minister. The province, traditionally faithful, or under the realm of the powerful opposition Peronist movement machine represents some 35% of the Argentine electorate, and Ms Vidal's win in 2015 was crucial for president Macri's victory.

While the vote is technically obligatory, voters between the ages 16-18 and those over 70 aren’t penalized for not voting. Macri and Vidal poll well with older Argentines.

In 2015, Macri and Vidal were just a couple of points behind the incumbent Daniel Scioli, handpicked by ex president Cristina Fernandez, in the October round, but in the November runoff managed to overtake and win both the presidency and the Buenos Aires province governorship.

Under Argentine electoral law, a presidential winning candidate needs 45% plus on vote, or 40% and a ten point difference over the runner up. If not there is a runoff a month lates, November.

Macri's strategists in the worst scenario are counting with his re-election in the November round. But for Ms Vidal the challenge will be greater since under the provincial electoral system there is no runoff. This means that next Sunday will be as if it was the October first round.

Top Comments

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  • Little J

    Hopefully MM will win. Even if not the PASO elections but those to be held on October 27th. Otherwise we'll be back to the well known corruption of the previous K governments and of course aligning Argentina - once again - with Iran, Venezuela and others, to the detriment of the country.

    This does'nt mean that MM's government have been absolutely brilliant in the handling of the country in every aspect, nor that there has not been any corruption whatsoever, during their current term of office but at least there has certainly been far less than the former government and an approach to reach out to other countries with a more acceptable political orientations, the benefit of Argentina overall.

    Aug 05th, 2019 - 02:20 pm +3
  • Tarquin Fin

    Little J,

    That's a very tough one. Though I think that MM is the “least worst” option, the famous “it's the economy, stupid” still applies. Respect for institutions and pro-market reform are tough things to sell to millions of lower middle class people -who previously voted for Macri- that has suffered from increasing utilities' bills, loss of jobs, inflation. Populism seems to have the upper hand this time around.

    Alberto Fernandez seems like a moderate person but everybody knows who will be calling the shots if he wins, i.e.: another default crisis in the horizon.

    There's an alternative, Professor J.L. Espert. He might get somewhere between 5 to 7 percent. He gets my vote this time.

    Aug 05th, 2019 - 08:34 pm +3
  • Tarquin Fin

    Enrique, you just keep posting propaganda. No sign of critical thinking on your part.


    “Of course, the Macri government cannot claim a single economic achievement, ... ”

    To be fair, had not they controlled the excessive peso emissions with Lebacs, we would have had a certain hyperinflation in 2016. They didn't say anything about the disastrous finances left by Cristina just to avoid the gigantic crisis that would have ensued.

    Of course, then “things happened ...” :-) and some idiots tried to force monetary policy over the central bank. That's the 2018 crisis. However what we had last years pales in comparison to what it would have happened in 2016.

    “Now, want to know how many cases are before the courts against Mr. Macri? Well...92. Of which about half a dozen are serious.”

    Of course this is a serious matter. How about Cristina? Don't you think that probably both of them should be in jail?

    “What Mr. Fernandez is proposing is simply put the country to work while putting an end to financial speculation.”

    A grown man like yourself should know what that shit means in this part of the world. Alberto wants to put people to work? Well, I guess he's probably envisioning a labour camp for all of Grabois activists, militant public workers, etc ... How is he planning to support all of that? Where is he going to get the money from?

    Since he is a peronist, I suppose he might have some magic formula passed to him in secret. I'd love to hear about it!

    Aug 06th, 2019 - 03:01 pm +3
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