New UCA poll regarding 2009 elections

The University of Central America's Public Opinion Institute has released a new poll regarding the views of Salvadorans about the upcoming national elections in 2009. The press release with the poll results highlights these conclusions from the study:

  • More than half of Salvadorans have little or no trust in the electoral process.

  • More than half of the people believe that there will be fraud in the upcoming elections.

  • A significant percentage of the citizens consider the economy to have worsened under the existing government.

  • The FMLN and Funes maintain their advantage over ARENA and Avila in voters' preferences at the national level.
In the poll, Mauricio Funes leads Rodrigo Avila 49.7% to 34.2% for president while the FMLN also leads in preferences for mayors and deputies to the National Assembly, and 58.8% of respondents believe that ARENA should not continue to govern the country.

I think there may be some correlation between the strength of the support for Funes and the FMLN and the number of people who believe there will be fraud in the election. A belief has been expressed in comments on this blog and elsewhere, that ARENA will resort to fraud if it looks like it will lose power and the more likely an ARENA loss in a free and fair election is, the more likely fraud will be. Certainly past experiences in elections in El Salvador and in other countries throughout Latin America provide ample reason for people to be concerned even though the most recent elections in El Salvador have been generally thought to be fair even if not perfect. (By "fair" I simply mean that the votes reported reflected the actual votes cast and that persons of all political affiliations were permitted to vote -- that does not mean that campaign propaganda from ARENA was truthful, that the media was unbiased, or that certain US officials did not put their fingers on the scale to tilt the balance against the FMLN).


boz said…
With a minimum ten point lead, the fraud would have to be so massive that everyone would notice and the situation would turn ugly. If this election was close, there might be reason for concern (although I think the concern is a bit exaggerated myself). With Funes so far ahead, fraud is practically impossible.

Funes winning is the single easiest election prediction for a non-incumbent that I've had to make in a long time.
Tim said…
Good point.
Anonymous said…
Look at this new from Austria.

Poll: Leftist leading Salvadoran presidential race

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© AP
2008-10-08 23:46:02 -

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) - A new poll shows leftist presidential candidate Mauricio Funes with a strong lead ahead of March 15 elections in El Salvador.
Half the respondents say they would vote for Funes. Only 34 percent say they support ruling party candidate Rodrigo Avila.
Funes' Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front has never won the presidency. Funes has broken with party tradition to support the U.S. dollar as El Savador's currency and recent trade agreements.
A runoff election will be held if no candidate wins a majority on March 15.
The poll by the University Institute of Public Opinion quizzed 1,257 Salvadorans between Sept. 13-27. It had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Results were released Wednesday.


Hi everybody, time is counting down and the victory is coming, who can deny the reliability, accuracy and honesty of this UCA's poll?

The change is coming, soonly E.S. will be joining the latinamerican countries were the left has reached the govt.
Anonymous said…
"By "fair" I simply mean that the votes reported reflected the actual votes cast and that persons of all political affiliations were permitted to vote"

I believe that clear counts, transparency in the rosters and clarity in the counting of the votes, and freedom to excercise your vote are more than enough to justify calling elections in El Salvador FAIR AND FREE, not to Simply called them so.

The rest is campaigning, its dirty nature applies to all elections, more than anything in awful places like venezuela, and given the situation actually, also in the United States.
Anonymous said…
I have to throw down the gauntlet here. Any poll done by any organization from El Salvador is suspect. Just because it was done by the UCA doesn't mean a thing. The Jesuits are no more honest than anybody else here and have their own biases. Most of the people who post seem to think that the left is the be-all, end-all for central america. How closed minded can you be! Hugo, Evo, Daniel and company don't seem to be making many changes for the better in their respective countries. I am still waiting to see meaningfull economic changes and I don't consider Venezuela's inflation meaningful change for the better.

AS far as the US influencing elections in Central America somebody has their head in the sand. If the US was influencing elections don't you think they would have done something to keep Hugo, Evo and Daniel out of power? The fraud seems to fall in the camp of the aforementioned who use the democratic system to get elected and then change the constitution to suit themselves. I understand that any influence on the last election was undertaken by private individuals and not by any organ of the state department.

My last comment raises the question about Avila's choice of running mate; what is El Salvador going to choose a rightest with a left central/moderate running mate or a left centrist with a communist/maoist/radical running mate?

To many of my aquantances fear the Funes/Ceren package. Assasinate Funes and instant ties to Alba, change of constitution, and move to dictatorship. With a move to the center by ARENA the vote may swing back the other way.
Anonymous said…
As far as the USA meddling in recent elections in Central and South America, the US is widely acknowledged to have played a part in the April 2002 coup in Venezuela against Hugo Chavez. With Daniel Ortega, I guess the USA kind of gave up after trying to kill all Contras. But, rest assurred, we tried. This is not to say I am against this, as cruel as it may sound, as EVERY SINGLE NICARAGUAN I have talked to (in Nicaragua) hates Ortega, and thinks he is a disaster to the country. I would also mention the rather sordid aspect of his having molested his stepdaughter Zoilamerica.
With the last Salvadoran election, the State Department most definitely did meddle, although Colin Powell (then Sec.State) censured the US official who said that remittances would be cut off and immigration from El Salvador lessened with an FMLN win.