As once opposition frontrunner Enrique Peñalosa‘s campaign gasps for breath just 10 days before Colombia’s presidential elections, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga and President Juan Manuel Santos have all but sealed their fate as second round competitors, according to a new poll.
|Colombia’s 2014 elections|
After two weeks full of scandals surrounding Zuluaga’s and Santos’ respective campaigns, the only ones being punished by Colombians in the polls, are minority candidates.
The Green Alliance (Alianza Verde – AV) party’s hopes of securing a four-year residency at Colombia’s presidential palace on May 25, seem all but lost as Democratic Pole (Polo Democratico – PD) candidate Clara Lopez overtook Peñalosa in a new poll released Thursday. The two however are battling over just .3%, each hovering over a dismal 10% of first round supporters.
With a first round projection of 27.7% for the head of state and 23.9% for the former finance minister, the joint product of Caracol Radio, Red+Noticias, and Cifras y Conceptos have reaffirmed the conclusion of other recent polls that President Santos and Zuluaga are almost guaranteed to participate in a run off in a second round of elections, indicating that there have been no consequences for the two frontrunners’ alleged connections to wiretapping and receiving drug money as recently reported.
Furthermore, Peñalosa, the squeaky clean former mayor of Bogota who once led the Cifras y Conceptos poll for the opposition parties less than two months ago, has since failed to rally citizens falling to fourth place behind the Democratic Center (Centro Democratico – CD) party’s Zuluaga, and the leftist Lopez.
Fifth place conservative candidate Marta Lucia Ramirez has been gaining traction steadily and now only trails Peñalosa by one percentage point.
Peñalosa is the only candidate to have decreased in this poll since April 1.
Cifras y Conceptos poll history
FACT SHEET: Colombia 2014 election polls
Adding to their difficulties, Lopez, Peñalosa, and Ramirez struggle to command media attention because all cameras have been fixed on the scandals-du-jour of the two leading candidates.
No Consequences for Santos or Zuluaga
In the past two weeks, one of Santos’ main political strategists got into trouble for allegedly receiving $12M from drug traffickers. The scandal forced his political spin doctor Juan Jose (JJ) Rendon to resign while prosecution officials opened a criminal investigation.
The new comprehensive poll however showed no signs of consequences for the two politicians. If there were a run off between Zuluaga and Santos — as anticipated — the candidate of former President Alvaro Uribe would win, with 34.2% to the incumbents predicted 33.6%. Because the figures are so close however, local media has been calling the results a tie between the two right wing candidates.
Another interesting facet of the poll was that in a hypothetical second round between Santos and the other three candidates individually, while none of the three are predicted to win, each only trail the incumbent by less than 1.5% with near 40% of those polled unsure in each case.
This suggests that if any of the other three can beat Zuluaga in the first round, there could be serious problems for Santos’ re-election aspirations.
The blank vote, which has the power to wipe the board clean of candidates if it achieves a simple majority, received 17%.
If during the first round of elections no candidate gains 50% of the vote, a second round will be held on June 15, and the president will be elected from whichever two candidates received the highest votes in the first round.
- Santos y Zuluaga empatan en primera y segunda vuelta (El Espectador)
- Empate técnico entre Santos y Zuluaga en primera y segunda vuelta (Caracol Radio)