Monday, April 5, 2010

Killer Combo Could Shake up Presidential Election in Colombia

The newest polling data on the presidential elections does not really paint a different picture than anything in the past , but there is some important news from over the weekend that could change the landscape a bit.

As you can see Santos has a pretty decent lead, but not over 50%, which would result in a run-off election. Based on the polls he would face off with either Sanis or Mockus. Which is where the important news comes in, last week Mockus invited former Medellin Mayor Sergio Fajardo to be his running mate. Well, it looks like Fajardo will accept and the duo could seriously pose a threat to Santos, even with his star adviser James Carville at his side. Before municipal elections last month Fajardo was polling second behind either Santos or Uribe, depending on who would/could run. After his party flopped in the municipal elections, however, his polling dropped as well, making him a nice target for Mockus, whose Green Party did better than expected.

Personally, I still think Santos is probably the favorite, but the Polo and Liberal parties will have to decide whether or not to put their support behind the Mockus/Fajardo ticket. With a little more support from the left, and who knows, maybe a scandal or two, this could get very interesting. If this goes to a run-off with Santos v. Mockus/Fajardo it could be a dramatically different presidential election than what many have expected; which was that no serious contender would change Uribe's policies. A serious challenger from the center-left could open up the terms of debate in Colombia, and that should be a welcome development.

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