Evo Morales Takes Early 14 Point Lead Ahead of Bolivia's Presidental Election


During the celebration of his 59th birthday Friday, Morales referenced the polls as another cause for celebration.

An IPSOS poll commissioned by Bolivian media conglomerate Popular Radio and Television (RTP) has given incumbent President Evo Morales a 14 point lead over former president Carlos Mesa as candidates prepare for the first round of the country's presidential election in January 2019.

In the poll, which was released Friday, Morales was favored by 39 percent of those polled compared to Mesa's 25 percent favorability. Ruben Costas, the current governor of Bolivia's Santa Cruz department, was third with six percent of those polled stating he would have their support while Samuel Doria Medina, leader of the National Unity Front, was fourth with four percent. Jorge Tuto Quiroga, who served as Bolivia's president between 2001-2002 and was a candidate for the presidency in the 2014 presidential election for the Christian Democratic Party, was fifth with just three percent. 

Seven percent of those polled stated that they would prefer candidates other than those currently on offer while 13 percent said they wouldn't vote for any candidate currently listed.

This most recent IPSOS poll has shown an increase in support for Morales, who polled at 29 percent in a poll done by IPSOS in August, and a drop in support for Mesa, who represents the Revolutionary Left Front (FRI) and is seen as Morales' main competitor, from 27 percent to 25 percent. 

During the celebration of his 59th birthday Friday, Morales referenced the polls as another cause for celebration. 

"In the last hours, the last poll says that we have a 14 points of advantage on the right for the next national elections, not even adding the second to the third place, they reach us. I feel that it is the best gift to all the Bolivian people on this day, It is the best tribute to our process," Morales said.

According to the poll, Morales, who assumed office in January 2006, has 53 percent of the support in rural areas of Bolivia versus 15 percent for Mesa. In urban areas of the country, the gap is narrower with Morales capturing 32 percent of voter support compared to 29 percent for Mesa.