Macri looks to breathe new life into campaign

Macri looks to breathe new life into campaign

On October 5th the president, Mauricio Macri, completed the first week of "sí se puede" (yes we can) marches, aimed at reinvigorating his re-election campaign ahead of the first-round vote on October 27th

Mr Macrihas planned 30 marches in 30 cities in the run-up to the upcoming presidential election, as he seeks to close the gap on his main opponent, Alberto Fernández, of the Peronist Frente de Todos (FdT) coalition. Mr Macri's latest campaign visit was Mendoza city, the capital of the Mendoza province. Mr Macri had carried the province in the 2015 general election—albeit under very different circumstances—but narrowly lost it (by three percentage points) to Mr Fernández in the August 11th primary elections.

The president's re-election campaign was given new hope after the September 30th gubernatorial elections, which went strongly in favour of Rodolfo Suárez, a member of Mr Macri's ruling Cambiemos coalition. Mr Suárez won the governorship with 50% of the vote, while the Fdt candidate, Anabel Fernández Sagasti, secured just 35% of the vote. Furthermore, Mr Suárez performed much better than he had in the Mendoza gubernatorial primaries (held in June), in which he won 42% of the vote, compared with Ms Sagasti's 35%. Voter turnout was also higher in September, at 83%, compared with 78% in June.

Although it bodes well for the government that the last major gubernatorial election before October 27th was positive for Cambiemos, it does not necessarily portend a shift in voting patterns in forthcoming federal elections. First, Mr Suárez sought to "provincialise" his electoral campaign: maintaining a distance from Mr Macri while highlighting his job performance as mayor of Mendoza city compared with that of the outgoing governor, Alfredo Cornejo (2015-19). Another factor is Ms Sagasti's affiliation with the hardline leftist faction of the Peronist party, known as La Cámpora, which likely worked against her during her campaign.

Opinion polls, conducted since the beginning of the pro-government marches, show that Mr Fernández is leading in voting intentions, with between 48% and 56% of the vote share, depending on the survey. By contrast, voting intentions for Mr Macri stand between 32% and 38%. Although polls were wildly inaccurate in the run-up to the primary, we view a victory for Mr Macri in the general election as unlikely, given the current state of the economy.

Impact on the forecast

We continue to expect a victory for Mr Fernández at the presidential election.

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