Salvadoran presidential runoff, 2014

Today Salvadorans vote in their runoff presidential election. FMLN candidate Salvador Sánchez Cerén should win easily. For one thing, he almost won in the first round, with about 49% and a 10-point lead over runner-up Norman Quijano of ARENA. Second, polling has shown that those who voted for third-place candidate, Tony Saca, a former president from ARENA, were splitting at least evenly if not towards Sánchez Cerén. The latter might seem like a surprise–a right-wing ex-president’s supporters swinging to a former guerrilla fighter–but Saca split from his party in 2010 and led a group of ex-ARENA legislators in forming part of the legislative majority of incumbent president Mauricio Funes, also of the FMLN.

Sánchez Cerén will inherit the legislature elected in 2012 in which ARENA is the largest party (33 seats), but the FMLN (31) and Saca’s GANA (11) have a majority of the 84 seats. The next legislative election is a year away.

6 thoughts on “Salvadoran presidential runoff, 2014

  1. And no sooner I posted my previous comment, the results updated to show the two candidates practically tied at 50% each – ARENA’s lead is now down to a mere 28 votes – with nearly half the votes tallied.

  2. MSS, I wonder what you make of this, considering your usual standpoint on holding runoffs when the margin is so large.

  3. Apparently the result will not be known tonight.

    JD, it is a fair question. I still prefer rules intermediate between plurality and majority runoff. I’m not changing that because of one case, although if this is a comeback win for a candidate who was that far back, my preferred rules would have deprived us of a fascinating case!

    (Obviously, we have no way of knowing how the outcome might have different with different rules.)

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