The Argentine electoral campaign is going for the KO after two rounds without many points. This is the panorama of the elections in Argentina two weeks before the elections .
Photo: EFE/ Agustín Marcarian POOL
Concepción M. Moreno | EFE
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Leer en español: Segundo debate: Este es el panorama de las elecciones en Argentina a dos semanas de los comicios
Argentina faces the last two weeks before the election on October 22 with its three main candidates in search of a definitive knockout after the two mandatory debates held on October 1 and 8 in which none of them scored too many points.
It is often said that debates do not give votes, but they do take them away. And, judging by what was experienced in the two instances held in Santiago del Estero (north) and Buenos Aires, respectively, it does not seem that they are going to alter much what is known until now.
The candidate of La Libertad Avanza (far-right), Javier Milei; the candidate of the ruling Unión por la Patria (Peronism), Sergio Massa; and the leader of Juntos por el Cambio (center-right), Patricia Bullrich, were, in that order, the three most voted in the primaries held on August 13 and also, in that order, the ones who added the most votes according to the surveys known up to now.
Although the major surprise that was the triumph of the libertarian economist in the PASO (primaries, open, simultaneous and mandatory) was not foreseen by the opinion polls, the general idea is that those numbers that appear at the moment can be close to the photo definitive of October 22.
Although in August the three formations - with Juntos por el Cambio in second place, ahead of Peronism - moved in very close digits, but all below 30%, currently there is a greater difference - always in favor of Milei as the most voted and always with Bullrich out of a possible second round.
Aware of these numbers, the former Minister of Security in the Government of Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) used herself more forcefully in the second mandatory debate, held this Sunday in Buenos Aires, although all experts agree that she is worse than her two main rivals in oratory when it comes to defending her proposals.
Elections in Argentina: two debates, two rounds
The first, organized on October 1 in Santiago del Estero, the oldest city in Argentina, had left a clear duel between Milei and Massa, who sought each other as rivals and with a tacit objective: to leave the Juntos por el Cambio candidate outside of a runoff.
In the second, held this Sunday, Bullrich - already recovered from the flu that, she said, had diminished her physical condition in the previous meeting - openly launched herself into a fight against the two, aware that the first issue - safety - is her campaign flag.
In front, a Milei with more doubts than on previous occasions and a Massa who was not as consistent as in the first debate.
From now until October 20, the last day on which these three candidates and the other two, the dissident Peronist Juan Schiaretti and the leader of the Left and Workers Front, Myriam Bregman, will be able to proselytize, it remains to be known if the support will change direction or everything is heading towards a foreseeable second round between the surprising leader who won the PASO and the current Minister of Economy for November 19.
There is no shortage of those who predict a victory in the first round for the libertarian candidate. To do this, they would have to reach 45% or at least 40% and 10 points ahead of the second most voted. In that case, the next question is with what forces he could agree to carry out many of the reforms he advocates.
Be that as it may, the Argentine electoral campaign is heading into the final round without knowing if there will be a final knockout.