Incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos remains a clear if unconvincing favorite to win Colombia’s upcoming presidential elections, according to a new national poll.
The poll, conducted by Caracol Radio with the help of the Cifras & Conceptos research firm, found that 26% of Colombians would vote for Santos were elections to “take place tomorrow,” rather than in May. Some 30% of those polled support the president’s reelection.
The figures are keeping with previous polls, which also put Santos well ahead of the rest of the field, and well short of the 50% necessary to win on a first ballot election.
Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, the candidate from former President Alvaro Uribe‘s Democratic Center party (Centro Democratico), continues to poll in second place with 7% of the vote. Trailing him is Enrique Peñalosa, pre-candidate for the Green Alliance (Alianza Verde), with 6%, and Clara Lopez (Democratic Pole — Polo Democratico), Martha Lucia Ramirez (Conservative Party — Partido Conservador) and Aida Avella (Union Patriotica — UP), who brought in 5, 4 and 1%, respectively.
The most popular option so far, however, remains the “in blank” protest vote, which 30% of those polled said they preferred to any of the available candidates. Reasons for supporting the blank vote varied, but among those who claimed they would choose it as a first option, express political dissent (40%) and a lack of familiarity with the candidates (29%) were the most prominent justifications.
This outlook has held more or less stable since polling began last fall. Percentages for Santos and the blank vote have not changed since the same poll was taken last month, with only minimal differences regarding the other candidates.
Some 2,500 Colombians from across the country participated in the most recent survey, and the results present a 2.9% margin of error, according to Caracol Radio.
Administered last week, the poll would not have been able to account for Monday’s announcement that the Liberal Party (Partido Liberal), one of Colombia’s largest, will be throwing its official support behind Santos’ reelection campaign.