Colombia: Santos Leads in New Poll but Faces Uphill Reelection Race


EspañolAccording to a survey conducted by Cifras y Conceptos, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos will have a difficult race against his two main opponents for the upcoming elections on May 25. According to the poll results published yesterday, and based on 2,500 interviews, Santos is on track to receive 27 percent of the votes, increasing four points since the last gauge.

As for the other candidates, the results are varied. Oscar Iván Zuluaga — supported by former President Álvaro Uribe and a critic of the peace negotiations with the Marxist guerrilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) — is at 19 percent support. Enrique Peñalosa, candidate of the Green Alliance, and Clara López, representing the Democratic Pole, appear to be tied with 10 percent each. Marta Lucía Ramírez then follows last at 8 percent.

While fewer respondents plan to leave their ballot blank in protest, relative to the last survey, they are still more numerous than those who plan to vote for one of the bottom three candidates: 17 percent. This voting preference has implications, because if no candidate obtains more than half the ballots in the May election, a run-off with the top two candidates will be held on mid-June.

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The poll predicts that if president Santos and Oscar Iván Zuluaga face each other in June, they could get locked in a dead heat. If the current president were to face any of the remaining candidates during the run-off, the survey assures Santos a second presidential term by at least a 30 percent margin.

Source: Reuters América Latina.

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