Alberto Fernández, speaking on the night of PASO
Three weeks have passed since the defeat in the PASO and the Government adds announcements that seek to show management and fail to delineate a more or less clear course in the attempt to recover from the fall. The analysis of the results of the primaries is concentrated in the province of Buenos Aires. It coincides with what different consultants have been detecting: the budget is in crisis, which automatically notes as “their own” the sectors with the least resources, those most affected by the crisis. And also the young vote, capital vindicated by hard Kirchnerism. The question for the ruling party is whether they are disenchanted who only did not vote in September or angry who oscillate between abstention and the punishment vote.
The initial surprise of the ruling party – and immediately, the escalation in internal tension – had its main origin in the figures provided by Buenos Aires districts considered the most solid base of the triumphs and a hard core still in the falls. The most disturbing data for the Frente de Todos say that in the second and third cordon of Greater Buenos Aires the decline was significant. “In districts where the advantage of Peronism in its different versions was between 25 and 30 points over the second, this time it was about 10 points,” sums up an experienced consultant.
The study of the scrutiny carried out by the ruling party -intendents, leaders of La Cámpora, in the first place- in these municipalities, even in polling stations, reflects the lower percentage and the lower level of participation. The description with a geographic focus coincides at the same time with several polls that expose a strong negative image of the main figures of the ruling party.
This occurs in national surveys and also in the more specific ones limited to the province of Buenos Aires. They do not trace records for the City of Buenos Aires, Córdoba or Mendoza, but they are significant. And they affect Alberto Fernández, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Axel Kicillof, among others, before and after the PASO. The crisis unleashed by the former president’s offensive on the Cabinet would have played in the same direction.
In this evaluation at the national level and which crosses different sectors, young people could not be left out, as any age group is heterogeneous. The question, for Kirchnerism, is to where the capital that they supposed untouchable by definition drained. He has no single answer. There are those who believe that they went towards the “no vote” or the blank vote, and there are many hypotheses related to the better performance of the left -the FIT, in particular- and the irruption by the right of groups like the one expressed by Javier Milei in the Buenos Aires electorate.
With more pragmatism and concern, the sharp decline in votes of the ruling party is assumed as a serious problem by the Peronist mayors of Greater Buenos Aires. It has an internal side, especially due to the dispute with La Cámpora, in some municipalities, and due to the bad relationship with Kicillof, in most cases. But it is a problem of survival rather than of domestic play. The loss of control in the Deliberative Council is almost always the shortest way to the end of a stage and even to removal. Faced with the shock of the primaries, that explains and recreates speculation about highly worked ballot cuts.
Diego Santilli and Facundo Manes, in the act of the celebration. The final scrutiny accommodates the list
Of course, the painting far exceeds the internal ones and recognizes the effects of the aggravated economic and social crisis as strong but not the only brushstrokes. Almost mechanically, the answer was the idea of ”putting money” in people’s pockets. But there are at least two elements that drive doubts. The first is the practical question, because it does not end in increases in attendance or the replacement of the IFE in a single delivery. The second has to do with the negative result due to electoral use, an expression of patronage in the broad sense.
There is a strip that suffers like no other from the deterioration caused by the crisis. These are thousands of people who live from informal work, with incomes in many cases uncertain and frosted by inflation. Exhausted, in addition, by the mismanagement in the administration of restrictions due to the coronavirus. Common sense says it and is recorded by focus groups of consultants. It is difficult to generate – to recreate, in Kirchner’s perception – expectations with hasty measures and with uncertainty about the day after the November 14 elections.
The final scrutiny in Buenos Aires this week exposed the final difference of 4 points between the Frente de Todos and Juntos (37.3 to 33.2), and ended up accommodating the interleaving of names in the list of the main opposition force, that is that is to say, between the candidates who supported Diego Santilli and those headed by Facundo Manes. At the other end of the count was a platoon of a dozen groups out of the competition that comes because they did not exceed 1.5 percent of the votes.
This varied set of voters is also a reason for analysis and hypotheses in the campaign commands. It involves more than 500 thousand people in the province of Buenos Aires. Together, the list of José Luis Espert, the left and to a lesser extent, the Frente de Todos make accounts about that electorate.
All in all, the singular point of the battle for November is the change of reading about the new decline in the level of participation. In the previous to the PASO, it seemed a matter of concern only for the opposition. And after September 12, it became an almost exclusive issue for the ruling party. It seems like a simplification, which goes hand in hand with “putting money in your pocket” as a reaction to the lost vote.
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