We all but predicted Antanas Mockus would coast to victory in the Colombian election, but Colombia’s voters had another plan.
Today, in the first round of voting, Colombian voters gave Uribe protegé and Chávez nemesis Juan Manuel Santos a whopping 46% of the votes in the first round.
Mockus, in turn, came in second with 21%, an unsurmountable difference of 25 percentage points. This is much, much more than polls had predicted. This wasn’t an election, it was a mauling.
The second round is a mere formality. Unless something dramatic happens, Juan Manuel Santos is the next President of Colombia. Which can only mean things between Colombia and Venezuela are bound to get worse, not better.
To those of you who doubted the accuracy of the polls and thought the Mockus surge was merely a reflection of middle-class urban voters’ aspirations and not a real electoral surge, my hat is off to you. You read this better than Quico or I did.
Update: La Silla Vacía has an excellent breakdown of the results. The money quote:
"Si bien a Juan Manuel Santos le fue mejor a nivel departamental que en las ciudades grandes, y a Mockus le fue relativamente mejor en las grandes ciudades que en los departamentos, igual Santos le ganó a Mockus en todas las ciudades grandes menos en Tunja, Pasto y Mocoa… la ola verde no logró constitituirse en un ‘fenómeno’ de opinión urbana, que una vez más demostró seguir siendo predominantemente uribista."
Update 2: Fivethirtyeight.com has an interesting post where they board the Mockus bandwagon, show the poll numbers, predict a Mockus win, and then provide an uh-oh update.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.