Colombian Candidate Feared by Investors Leads Presidential Poll
(Bloomberg) -- Colombian senator Gustavo Petro, who wants to tax the rich and cut the economy’s dependence on fossil fuels, continues to command a wide lead over rivals ahead of the 2022 presidential election.
The former guerrilla, who is popular among poorer Colombians and students while feared by many investors, is leading with 26% support ahead of the vote next May, in a poll carried out by Bogota-based researcher Datexco and published by W Radio. However, there are two candidates who would beat Petro in a runoff, the poll found.
Sergio Fajardo, a former math professor who was mayor of Colombia’s second city, Medellin, was in 2nd place, with 10% of voting intentions, the poll found. He was followed by Rodolfo Hernandez, a former mayor of the provincial city of Bucaramanga in eastern Colombia, on 7%, former Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez and former Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria, who both had 6%, and ex-Senator Juan Manuel Galan, who had 5%.
In a runoff, Petro would beat all 10 candidates in the poll except for Fajardo and Galan, who are considered centrist candidates.
The poll of 1,200 people was carried out Oct. 15-26 and has a margin of error of 2.9%. Colombia, a U.S. ally which has never had a leftist leader, holds presidential elections in May with a potential runoff in June. Petro made it to the runoff in the 2018 election, but lost to Ivan Duque, who is now president. The constitution bars Duque from seeking a second term.
A March poll by Detaxco, which used a different methodology, also showed Petro with a wide lead.
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