Poll after poll confirms that Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, the presidential candidate of former President Alvaro Uribe‘s year-old Democratic Center (Centro Democratico – CD) party, has succeeded in mobilizing citizens as Colombia approaches its presidential elections in nine days.
|Colombia’s 2014 elections|
It seems that the old adage remains true in Colombia: there’s no such thing as bad press, especially not for Oscar Ivan Zuluaga.
Just over a week ago, the former finance minister’s presidential campaign manager resigned due to a wiretapping scandal that resonated loudly throughout Colombian media.
The presidential hopeful even initially lied saying that he had never met the “hacker” that was wiretapping ongoing peace talks between the government and the FARC rebel group, and then took it back when pressed on the matter harder.
And yet the most recent poll released by Datexco just before the cut off — according to law, no polls can be released a week leading up to the elections — shows not only that Colombians are not punishing Zuluaga for lying and the surrounding scandal, but rewarding him in the wake of the matter.
Between the end of April and this Friday, Zuluaga has managed to gain nearly 10% in this poll, all but clinching his spot in a second round run off between the Uribe-loyalist and President Juan Manuel Santos.
Furthermore, the once tied Green Alliance (Alianza Verde – AV) candidate Enrique Peñalosa has completely fallen off of his course and is expected to command a meager 9.7% of the vote.
Although Peñalosa, Democratic Pole (Polo Democratico – PD) Clara Lopez, and Conservative Party Marta Lucia Ramirez have stayed out of the news for any scandals, they also appear to be out of this race as Colombia approaches the final week before the elections.
Other notable revelations from this poll include the fact that while Zuluaga is soaring toward his competitor Santos, nearly half (43.3%) of those polled believe that Santos will win anyway.
Perhaps the most surprising considering the current head of state has failed to appear in any debates with the other four candidates (Peñalosa has only made sparse appearances) two thirds of those polled say that they know know and are familiar with Santos’ proposals. Half of those polled said they were aware of Zuluaga’s proposals and Clara Lopez had the lowest percentage of those who knew her proposals.
If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote during the first round of elections scheduled for May 25, then a second round run off is held between only the top two candidates. A simple majority then determines the next president.
The final polls all seem to be in agreement on one thing: unless there is a large upset, Zuluaga or Santos will reside in Colombia’s presidential palace for the next four years.
- Santos y Zuluaga: empate técnico en las dos vueltas (El Tiempo)
- Santos y Zuluaga disputarían la Presidencia en una segunda vuelta (El Tiempo)
- Datexco (Datexco)