Dominican Republic: Medina is ahead in voting preferences...but not as much as previously thought

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 28 Jan 2016 by Pavel Isa

A new survey by Asisa Research, a well-known poll firm, found that if elections were to be held today, President Danilo Medina (PLD and allies) would get 54.8% of the votes while Luis Abinader (PRM and allies) would get 38.6%. Guillermo Moreno, nominated by Alianza Pais and allies, would get 3% of the votes. All together, the rest of the candidates would not reach 1%, while 2.9% declined to answer. The poll was conducted on January 10 and 11. According to the survey, the difference between Medina and Abinader is 16.2%, which is close to half of that reported by Mark Penn poll (30.3%) whose results were released last week. Nonetheless, voting preference for Medina remains above the 50% mark, which is the percentage needed to win the elections in the first round. This scenario, in which undecided voters seem to represent a very low proportion of the electorate, could mean that we are in a zero-sum situation, where the only way to increase voting preferences for any candidate is at the expense of others. This is quite challenging for Abinader for two reasons. First, by any standard (financial resources, political and electoral machinery…) electoral competition is quite unbalanced in favor of PLD and allies. Second, PLD and allies have consistently received more than 50% of total votes in all elections since 2004. On party alliances, Asisa found that 46% believe that the PLD-PRD alliance strengthened Medina’s nomination, 24% believe it will have no effect, and 23% that it weakened it. Also, 43% think that the PRM-PRSC alliance increases Abinader’s chances to win the election, 22% think that it won’t have any effect, and 23% think it actually reduces Abinader chances.

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