Starting to look towards 2012 elections

A good source of information about what's going on in El Salvador and elsewhere in Central America is the Central American Politics blog of Mike Allison of the University of Scranton.  Mike recently described opinion polling about preferences for the 2012 elections of legislators and mayors:

The survey indicates that 31% intend to vote FMLN and 27% for ARENA in the upcoming congressional elections. Only 5% intend to vote for a third political party (Obviously not a good sign for GANA). Support for the FMLN declined from 34% in November while ARENA's support increase by 1%. 
In 2009, the FMLN won 35 seats with 43% of the nationwide vote while ARENA won 32 seats with 39% of the vote.
In terms of their preference for mayor, 30% intend to FMLN and 27% for ARENA. The PCN, PDC, and GANA captured a combined 9% while another 34% remain undecided.
You can go to the original polling results from the Mitofsky polling firm at this link.

The results are not that much dissimilar to what we have seen this far out in advance of other elections in El Salvador. The FMLN and ARENA split about 50% of the vote, small parties are inconsequential, and most Salvadorans don't express a preference. Some of the things to watch over the next 12 months will be: (a) how much does Mauricio Funes' popularity continue to raise the fortunes of the FMLN despite his disagreements with party leaders, (b) how much impact is there from electoral reforms allowing individual candidates to run, and (c) can ARENA hold on to the mayor's office in San Salvador? Expect to see increased painting of party colors on electrical poles and roadsides commencing soon.