BOGOTA – Incumbent Juan Manuel Santos and main challenger Oscar Ivan Zuluaga would have to go up against one another in a runoff if the Colombian presidential election, scheduled for May 25, were held today, according to two voter surveys released Tuesday.
In the first survey, carried out by Cifras & Conceptos for Caracol Radio and Red Mas Noticias, Santos was the preferred candidate of 27 percent of those polled, up from 23 percent in March, followed by Zuluaga with 19 percent after an 8 percentage point rise.
Enrique Peñalosa, with the Green Alliance, lost ground among voters, dropping from 13 percent support to 10 percent, the same level as leftist Clara Lopez.
The intention to cast blank ballots fell from 26 percent to 17 percent, according to this survey, which was carried out on April 26-28 among 2,500 adults in 32 different cities.
In the other survey, by the Centro Nacional de Consultoria and released by CM& news, Santos would garner a plurality of 23 percent, while Zuluaga would pull in 22 percent and Peñalosa 13 percent.
Zuluaga is the protege of former President Alvaro Uribe.
Though Santos served as defense minister in Uribe’s 2002-2010 government, since then the two men have had a falling out.
If no candidate emerges from the initial balloting with more than 50 percent of the votes, a second round would be held on June 15.