New Polls Tell Different Stories

Seven polls regarding the presidential elections were released in the past 8 days, and their findings differ widely. They range from a 3 point lead for Rodrigo Avila (ARENA) to a 20 point lead for Mauricio Funes. One thing is clear is that the race has gotten tighter. See the table below for a summary of the results.

Three polls were released today, Feb 26: one from Universidad Centroamericana’s University Institute on Public Opinion (IUDOP), one by CID – Gallup, and one by Mendoza y Asociados. All showed Funes with a lead, though the size varied. IUDOP showed Funes with a 18-point lead over Avila, winning 49% of respondents. CID-Gallup found Funes with a 6-point lead, and the survey by Mendoza y Asociados gave him a 3-point lead. (Escobar, Ivan and Beatriz Castillo. “Funes aventaja a Ávila en intención de voto: IUDOP” Diario Co Latino. 26 Feb 2009.)

The Salvadoran Opinion Research Center (CIOPS) at the University of Technology of El Salvador (UTEC) released a poll Feb 25. It found that 50.5% of respondents said they would vote for Funes, and 48.9% said they would vote for Avila. However, they warned that Funes lead was within the margin of error, and therefore the results were inconclusive. (Escobar, Iván. “‘Margen de error no permite asegurar ventaja’: dice Zárate” Diario Co Latino. 25 Feb 2009.)

On Feb 24, the research firm Borges y Asociados published a poll in the conservative newspaper Diario de Hoy that gave Avila a 0.9% lead over Funes, with Avila winning the support of 40.9% of respondents, and Funes winning 40.0%. Nearly a fifth remained undecided. There was no mention of the margin of error.

The survey also asked respondents a number of questions regarding their age, sex, level of education, and level of monthly income. Avila faired better than Funes in the groups of voters who are over 50 years old, who have primary education, and who earn less than $200 per month. Funes gained a majority of voters who are between 18-29 years old, are university graduates, and make more than $400/month. (Miranda, Enrique. “Ávila supera a Funes” Diario de Hoy. 24 Feb 2009)

An FMLN-sponsored poll conducted by Vox Latino, an independent Guatemalan organization, gave Funes a 20.1 point lead, only slightly higher than the 19.5% of respondents that said that they could change their mind before the election. (Andrade, Teresa. “Una encuesta interna FMLN les favorece ampliamente.” El Mundo. 24 Feb 2009.)

On Feb 18 Jabes Market Research firm published a poll in which respondents were given a ballot to mark their presidential preferences if the election were today. The study found that 41% of participants chose Avila (ARENA), 38% chose (FMLN), a three point lead for Avila. It is worth noting that 20% of the ballots were left blank; indicating either they were not planning to vote, or were still undecided.

Jabes Market Research also conducted verbal survey which yielded much different results, putting Funes 6 points ahead. Forty-four percent of respondents said they would vote for Funes, 38% said they supported Avila, and 12% (“ARENA adelante en intención de voto” Diario el Mundo. 18 Feb 2009.

Poll Results from Late FebNote: Bold outline indicates a clear lead, while dotted indicates a lead that falls within the assumed margin of error.

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