In the countdown to presidential election ruling party candidates, Sergio Massa and from La Libertad Avanza, Javier Miley appear as the protagonists of a new “cracks” starting to form in the electorate, according to a new survey, and that in the face of October it will affect Patricia Bullrich and all Together for Change, now in a situation that is boiling due to the tension between the UCR and former president Mauricio Macri.
However, the same survey shows that the three candidates with the best chance to reach the Presidency face a common problem that seems very difficult to solve if this “division” consolidates and blocks ( more so) the political consensus needed to deal with it without social upheaval. : the high rejection of rate increases and, therefore, the reduction of subsidies that are on the agenda of all.
The work was carried out by the Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (CELAG), through in-person surveys with 2,509 actual cases between September 1 and 20, in 30 locations in 18 provinces. The result left important data for the election in October and the possible November runoff, but also for the next day, when Milei, Massa or Bullrich admitted to the Government.
According to the survey, Milei led the voting objective for October and Massa is on his heels while Bullrich is third, 4 points away away from the ministerial candidate. But also, the work shows how libertarians began to emerge on the political scene change the political identification of voters and, with it, the new panorama facing the leaders.
New “crack”?: How much did Milei, Massa and Bullrich measure in the survey
In the survey, the candidate of La Libertad Avanza who won the PASO elections in August reached 33.2% voting intention, while the candidate of Unión por la Patria got 32.2%. Faced with this virtual tie, the leader of Together for Change appears relegated with 28.1%.
The survey thus shows the tendency towards polarization in the election, that’s right Bullrich tried to avoid. In this sense, it provides another relevant piece of information that helps to understand this picture situation for October and can also explain the strategy chosen by the candidate of Together for Change for the final part of the campaign.
Milei and Massa lead in voting intentions and Bullrich tries to enter the fray according to the CELAG survey
When respondents were asked which political space they “felt most identified with,” the 21.8% chose the “liberal/libertarian” option, 19.6% called it “Kirchnerism” and 18.9% chose “Together for Change.”
The numbers and options presented in the survey highlight, first of all, the impact of the “Milei phenomenon” on voters; second, the strength of “Kirchnerism” as a matter of identity and third the displacement of Together for Change, the alliance of PRO, the UCR and the Civic Coalition whose origin and leitmotif is always “anti-Kirchnerism.”
The so-called “rift” that marks the rhythm of the political behavior of the voters and the leadership in the last 15 years thus seems to have changed since the appearance of Milei, which is presented in this work as a new channel for “anti” Kirchnerism” which, in turn, means that this political space continues to be influential and now favors Massa.
The impact of the campaign and the tensions that returned to Together for Change
This possible new “split” with “libertarians/liberals” on the one hand and “Kirchnerism” on the other explains why Milei and Massa chose to face each other. After the victory of La Libertad Avanza in PASO, the goal of the ruling party is to enter the runoff with him because he believes that in such a head-to-head he can get votes from other areas, including some from in Together for Change.
What the survey reveals can also be understood why Bullrich clings to the “anti-K” discourse for the October elections, promising to build a maximum security prison with the name “Doctora Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.” The candidate is trying to regain a seat that the libertarian held today.
To do this, since this week – which began with the election victory in Mendoza – Bullrich reinforced his “anti-Kirchnerist” speech while placing Milei as a partner in “political caste” which he admits to fighting, with the example of his recent agreement with the unionist Luis Barrionuevo and the suspicion of a hidden political agreement with the masses.
The identification of a segment of the electorate as “libertarian” opposed to “Kirchnerism” is growing
But this issue has another aspect. The new one Massa’s promise of a government of “national unity” During an event where the radical governors Gerardo Morales (Jujuy) and Gustavo Valdés (Corrientes) were present, they revived the bad relations on the part of UCR with Macri and, with it, the specter of the dissolution of Together for Change if it is defeated in October.
The place of the identity brand where Milei began to position himself increases that risk in the hypothetical scenario of a runoff where he finds Massa. How the radicals play ridiculed to the point of libertarian exhaustion, and What will the part of the PRO best known for Bullrich and Macri do?, who until before PASO showed sympathy for the economist? Almost no one in Together for Change today wants to answer those uncomfortable questions.
Bullrich must avoid short circuits and eliminate this rupture hypothesis (he has been trying since Sunday, with the same radical sentiments used in the “evil” of Massa and the “anti-Kirchnerist” speech that he tried. The ousting of Milei and Pagdako to enter the runoff would be useful for that, because that is the reason for the existence of the opposition alliance since it was founded in 2015.
The next economic management: do the candidates have a ceiling to accommodate the variables?
On the other hand, the beginning formation of a new “rift” with Milei as the protagonist will be a problem also for him and for Massa, if in fact there is a pact to polarize and then weave a governance agreement. A question arises as to how he fell into that sector of voters who already identified as “libertarian” and the Kirchnerism that was maintained.
However, the possibility that the political positions have become superfluous again and block any political consensus means trouble for everyone, including Bullrich, especially given the fact that it is possible neither has its own majority in Congress from 2024.
And that’s it Milei and Massa and Bullrich They have on the agenda of their future government the reduction of the deficit that includes removes rate subsidies something that is not only presented as one of the elements for the variables are balanced economy but it is also a IMF requirements. Although the minister-candidate has already started to walk that path, the campaign has stopped him.
The work shows the rejection the next government could face if it decides to cut subsidies to services
The CELAG survey asked about the increase in the price of public services of electricity, water and gas that will inevitably occur if the subsidy is cut. 78.6% answered that “this is not the time” for an increase and only 18.9% said that these increases are “necessary to organize the economy.”
If this level of rejection continues, the absence of a political consensus between the various forces with parliamentary representation will be put the next Government on a very complicated problem since the beginning of the administration. The survey thus leaves another central question: what capacity will the incoming administration have to face the pressure from the IMF and organize the economy in a context of extremely high inflation without social discontent prevailing this.
In addition, the survey also showed that the 64.8% thought that “the instructions of the IMF economic policy situation and will make the crisis worse“, while he 32.2% pointed out that they are “the only way to stabilize the economy”. This means that the pressure from the organization, where Massa appealed to explain the devaluation with Cristina Kirchner’s congratulations for sincerity, may have little effect as an excuse when sensitive points like those rates touched on.
What is the biggest weakness of the candidates according to the survey
Another chapter of the survey examines the candidates’ weaknesses from the voters’ point of view. In the case of Milei, this weakness shows the side of “emotional strength”, while the weak point of Massa and Bullrich is the economy, although for different reasons.
Among the negative words respondents gave to choose to describe the candidates, Milei appeared to be associated with 30.4% of “violence” and, when asked if he was “brave or emotionally unstable” 58% He chose the second one.
Massa appears to be most often associated with the word “failure” at 32.7%. Asked about the changes he announced regarding Income Tax and VAT refunds, among other measures to “recompose revenue,” the 58.5% maintained that “they are not completely adequate” because “inflation evaporates its effects.”
The three candidates face a very different political and social panorama for 2024
In this regard, Bullrich is associated with the word “repression” at 30.4% and, when asked if they “understand the economy”, 57.8% of those surveyed indicated that they “do not understand anything.”
Thus, the three candidates head to the October elections amid a change in voter identification and a relatively high negative evaluation that raises more uncertainty about the central question: how the action of the next government.