Salvador Sánchez Cerén has a comfortable lead for second round voting

Recently released public opinion polls show the FMLN's Salvador Sánchez Cerén with a sizable lead heading toward the March 9 runoff election.    The UTEC-CIOPS poll released today shows the left wing candidate with 54.9% of the potential votes to 45.1% for Norman Quijano from ARENA.  

This is about the same 10 point margin as the first round of the elections on February 2, when Sánchez Cerén had 48.9% of the votes and Quijano had 38.9%.      It appears that the voters who had voted for former president Tony Saca of UNIDAD in the first round are splitting fairly evenly between the two remaining candidates.   Quijano may be headed to a much bigger defeat than when Maurcio Funes beat Rodrigo Avila of ARENA 51.3% to 48.7% to become the country's first left wing president.

The CID-Gallup poll shows Sánchez Cerén with an even bigger lead of 58% to 42%.