Argentine president poised for re-election: polls

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 09, 2011 8:28 AM
Argentine president poised for re-election: polls

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has a massive lead over opponents two weeks before a presidential election and looks set to win more than 50 percent of the vote, two polls showed on Sunday.

Fernandez's support now stands at 53.2 percent, according to the latest monthly survey by local pollsters Management & Fit showed. That puts her more than 40 points ahead of her nearest rival, Socialist provincial governor Hermes Binner.

A Poliarquia poll for leading daily La Nacion gave support of 49.3 percent but a projected vote of between 52 percent and 55 percent considering voters who are still undecided.

Center-leftist Fernandez won just over 50 percent of votes in an August primary, which was seen as a dress rehearsal for the October 23 election because all parties had already anointed their candidates and voters could choose among them.

Binner has voter support of 12.4 percent, up from 11.6 percent last month and consolidating his position as Fernandez's nearest rival, Management & Fit's survey showed.

The Poliarquia poll also put Binner in second place with support of 13.6 percent and a projected vote of between 14 percent and 16 percent.

Trailing in third in both polls was Ricardo Alfonsin, a social democratic legislator, who had support of 7.8 percent and 9.5 percent in the polls.

Management & Fit's survey showed San Luis provincial governor Alberto Rodriguez Saa fourth on 7.4 percent while Poliarquia's poll gave him support of 8.2 percent. Rodriguez Saa is a dissident member of Fernandez's Peronist party.

Fernandez, who chose Economy Minister Amado Boudou as her vice presidential candidate, vows to continue current policies that include a strong state hand in the economy, hefty energy and transportation subsidies and trade protectionism.

She is enjoying approval ratings of more than 60 percent thanks to brisk economic growth, the opposition's failure to mount a convincing challenge and public sympathy following the death a year ago of her husband and predecessor as president, Nestor Kirchner.

Under Argentine election law, candidates are guaranteed a first-round victory if they win more than 45 percent of votes.

The Management & Fit poll was taken between October 1 and October 5 among 2,031 people. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points and 10.2 percent of respondents said they did not know or did not answer.

Poliarquia's poll had a margin of error of 2.7 points and surveyed 1,400 people.

(Reporting by Helen Popper and Alejandro Lifschitz; Editing by Bill Trott)