New poll in Costa Rica shows huge surge for evangelical pastor

January 23, 2018

While nearly a third of Costa Rican voters remain undecided less than two weeks before the presidential and legislative elections, a recent poll shows that the evangelical pastor Fabricio Alvarado has leaped to the lead in voter support – from just three percent of voter support in December to 17 percent in January.

The conservative presidential candidate attributed his boost in the polls to the rigid position he adopted after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Jan. 9. Alvarado stated publicly that if he were president, he would remove Costa Rica from among the member states of the tribunal.

“This is a people that is not happy with the way the Inter-American Court has violated our sovereignty, and because Fabricio Alvarado is the candidate who is most vehement in his position, the people have identified with us,” the candidate told news site ameliarueda.com.

The poll was conducted by the Investigation and Political Studies Center (CIEP) at the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

Lawyer and former security minister Juan Diego Castro, himself a deeply controversial candidate, is in a statistical dead heat with Alvarado, coming in at 16 percent in the latest poll.

Former legislator and Cabinet minister Antonio Alvarez Desanti, of the traditional National Liberation Party (PLN), is now in third with 11 percent, while the other traditional party candidate, Rodolfo Piza of the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), came in at 9 percent.

The poll was carried out from Jan. 15-17 with a sample size of 1,013 and a margin of error of 3.1 points.

With no candidate polling above 20 percent, it seems unlikely any one candidate will reach the 40 percent mínimum required to win in a first round. A second round of voting between the two top candidates would take place on April 1.

While all polls show an uncertain panorama, important differences in candidates’ ranking take place from poll to poll.

A CID-Gallup poll carried out from Jan. 9-14 showed Castro in first place (16.5 percent), followed by Alvarez (15.5 percent), Piza (12.2 percent) and Alvarado (9.6 percent).

A Demoscopia poll conducted for the newspaper La República from Jan. 12-17 put Alvarez in first place (16.7 percent), followed by Piza (14.7 percent), Castro (12.4 percent) and Alvarado (3.5 percent).

You may be interested

5 questions for Costa Rican musician Debi Nova
Weekend Arts Spotlight
316 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
316 views

5 questions for Costa Rican musician Debi Nova

Elizabeth Lang - February 17, 2018

Music as a way of life, a career, and a path toward achieving big dreams: that's what drives the Costa…

What to do in Costa Rica: concerts, culture and love around the country
Events
354 views
Events
354 views

What to do in Costa Rica: concerts, culture and love around the country

Elizabeth Lang - February 16, 2018

With Valentine’s Day just behind us, it’s time to celebrate love in all of its expressions, as well as Costa…

Waiting for the weekend
Tico Times Pic of the Day
308 views
Tico Times Pic of the Day
308 views

Waiting for the weekend

The Tico Times - February 16, 2018

It's Friday and this Aracari bird knows it! While appreciating the sunrise at the Caribbean side of the country, the…