A new survey has shown Conservative candidate José Antonio Kast has narrowed the gap between him and his leftwing opponent Gabriel Boric, who according to most polls, is expected to win the Dec. 19 presidential runoff in Chile.
Kast won the first round but his hardline Pinochetist approach keeps voters who chose neither candidate leaning his way now.
Boric has been portrayed as the favorite with between 40% to 54% of the vote, depending on the survey, but a study released Monday by the Public Electoral Square of the Cadem company conducted Dec. 9 and 10 among 6,805 people gave Boric 39% of the votes while Kast would get 36%. On September 3, Boric was said to have 53% support, while Kast had only 27%. By law, these results cannot be published in Chile.
In this latest poll, Boric still leads among women (41% versus 29%), youth (49% versus 29%), and by location, he would also win in Santiago (44% versus 36%).
Overall, Boric would win by 52% against 48% for Kast.
With projections placing both candidates so close to each other, any mistake, any last-minute action or any debate might make a decisive difference, analysts have explained, as it seems the election will be decided vote by vote.
Monday's debate on TV ended up in yet another tie. Neither candidate seemed to have persuaded the will, particularly that of the 50% who did not show up at the Nov. 21 first round.
I do not want to be a president who raises his fist, I want to be a president who opens his hand and welcomes, was Kast's punchline.
I am not afraid, I am confident that we are going to be a guarantee of governability, of peace for our country, Boric replied.