Weekly Chart: Guatemalan Public Opinion on Scandals and the Presidential Election

By Holly K. Sonneland

Cynicism may be running high among Guatemalan voters amid a presidential impeachment process, but the September 6 general elections will go on.

Updated September 3 — The updates are dizzying to keep up with: days before general elections, the Guatemalan president resigned after Congress voted to strip him of his immunity and a judge issued a warrant for his arrest, the political party of a leading candidate was fined a second time for overspending, and the ex-vice president was placed in prison—after, that is, authorities were able to find one with adequate security. There is no dark horse, much less hero in white, to put an end to the competing crises before Election Day

Nonetheless, the September 6 general elections are, it appears, on. In the race for president, latecomer candidate Jimmy Morales just overtook longstanding front-runner Manuel Baldizón of the Renewed Democratic Liberty Party (LIDER) in pre-election polls. While Baldizón and challenger Sandra Torres poll stronger in rural areas, Morales holds the most sway in urban areas. Baldizón’s Líder Party is leading campaign spending too, especially in food handouts of flour and oil in rural areas, which have determined previous presidential elections, say polling experts. 

Below, we look at polls taking the pulse of Guatemalan voters in the campaign’s final days.