Correa Looks Comfortable as Campaigning Ends in Ecuador

Campaigning for this Sunday’s presidential and legislative elections in Ecuador officially ended at midnight yesterday, April 23. The result of the fight for the presidency now lies entirely in the hands of Ecuador’s voters. In a research memorandum released by COHA last week, entitled ‘Ecuador’s Correa At Trinidad Summit: Not Likely to Be His Last Presidential Trip,’ Research Associates Billy Lemus and David Rosenblum Felson argued that the April 26 elections will likely determine whether Latin America’s left-leaning political shift will prevail in the Andean region, or if it was just an ephemeral initiative now destined to burn off.

As it stands, the incumbent quasi-populist leader, Rafael Correa, looks set to be reelected by an even larger margin than in 2006, due in large part to the impact of his widespread social and economic reforms. An April 20 poll suggested that Correa has the support of 50 percent of the public; an unmistakable indication of his popularity. Correa’s closest contenders for the presidency include ousted ex-president Lucio Gutiérrez, who commands the support of only 16 percent of the electorate, and banana tycoon, Álvaro Noboa, currently on his fourth bid for the presidency, with 12 percent. Correa is therefore likely to surpass the 40 percent of support and 10-point lead he needs to avoid a run-off, and win Sunday’s election comfortably in the first round, proving the longevity of another of the leftist governments in power across the region.