Noboa’s big lead over González in presidential race does not surprise political experts
A month before Ecuador’s runoff election, Daniel Noboa holds a commanding 10% lead over Luisa González, according to the polls. Of the polls sanctioned by the National Electoral Council, Click Report gives Noboa a 55.16% to 44.84% advantage, while Comunicaliza gives Noboa a 54.9% to 45.1% lead.
The only poll showing a close race was commissioned by González and the Citizens Revolution and is not certified by the CNE. Noboa’s private poll gives him a 17% lead.
Political analysts say they are not surprised by the numbers. “Given the strong anti-Correista sentiment among many voters, the polls do not come as s shock to anyone,” said Hernan Adolfo, political blogger and Guayaquil television commentator. “Everyone is still in disbelieve that Noboa came from 4% to 24% in a month before the first election but once it was clear he would be the candidate opposing Citizens Revolution we knew he would win.”
Click Report director Francis Romero blames González flagging support on Citizens Revolution leader Rafael Correa. “In many ways, she is a very appealing candidate,” he says. “Her problem is that people see her as stand-in for Correa, who they reject. Look at all the campaign posters and signs and there is Correa standing beside her and [vice presidential candidate Andrés] Arauz. Correa insists on being in the picture, literally and figuratively, and this dooms González’s campaign. He’s like the obnoxious kid on the playground who won’t go away.”
According to Romero, voters have a philosophical objection to the Citizens Revolution. “It is not just about Correa but also about his ideology. Our poll found that 59% oppose the idea of ‘socialism for the 21st century’, which is the motto for Correismo.”
The downside of the pro-Correista – anti-Correista divide among voters, says Adolfo, is that larger issues are mostly ignored. “We face a crime and violence crisis and another one of an economy that does not provide opportunity for our citizens, and most voters are not looking closely at the candidates’ proposals of how to address these. The campaign comes to down to personalities, Correa’s even though he is not running, and Noboa, who happens to be opposing Correa.”
Can anything change the dynamics of the campaign? “I believe the final outcome will be closer than the polls indicate,” Adolfo says. “We still have the debate to come but it will be hard for González to gain support there since everyone agrees Noboa won the first debate last month.”
He adds: “We have a month of campaigning left before the election so things can change. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine at this point a scenario where Noboa loses.”