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Latino Daily News

Tuesday October 29, 2013

POLL: Michelle Bachelet Ahead in Chilean Presidential Race

POLL: Michelle Bachelet Ahead in Chilean Presidential Race

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Michelle Bachelet, a former head of state representing the center-left New Majority, will defeat the standard-bearer of the governing rightist coalition outright in Chile’s Nov. 17 presidential election, a poll released Tuesday predicts.

Bachelet, who governed from 2006-2010, enjoys support from 47 percent of potential voters, compared with 14 percent for Evelyn Matthei, according to the survey by respected polling outfit CEP.

Independent right-wing candidate Franco Parisi will receive 10 percent and the nominee of the Progressive Party, Marco Enriquez-Ominami, will garner 7 percent, the survey forecasts.

Excluding null votes and blank ballots, Bachelet would trounce Matthei by 60 percent to 17 percent, CEP said.

Thus, if the polling results hold true in the actual election, it would not be necessary to hold a runoff provisionally set for Dec. 15.

In addition, considering the results of surveys of voters who said they will certainly vote, those who will probably vote, those who voted in past municipal elections and those who expressed an interest in voting, Bachelet would obtain 52-54 percent compared with 16-19 percent for Matthei.

The CEP survey, which were made public 19 days before the election and a few hours before the candidates’ second debate, also indicates that President Sebastian PiƱera has an approval rating of 35 percent.

Matthei and Bachelet, both the offspring of air force generals, were childhood friends, but their paths diverged sharply after the Sept. 11, 1973, military coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende.

Bachelet’s father, who opposed the putsch, died as a result of torture by his erstwhile brothers-in-arms while Matthei’s dad became a member of the junta.