Early on in the campaign, President Danilo Medina changed the rules for campaigning, allowing his cabinet members to campaign “after hours” for the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) presidential candidate Gonzalo Castillo. The government freely took advantage of the Covid-19 epidemic to step up procurement, purchasing billions in computers for public school students, appliances, food, propane, you name it. The goods were distributed even during curfew hours to “convince” people to vote PLD. Vice President Margarita Cedeño is Castillo’s running mate, and until the last month of the campaign, she was the director of government relief programs.
Don’t forget the government in the Dominican Republic is the largest employer. And the government decides who benefits from welfare programs. And the government has intelligence that tags most people living in the country.
The June 2020 Greenberg-Diario Libre polls reveals that the government of President Danilo Medina has a high approval rate of 64%. Even in the management of the Covid-19 epidemic, Medina has a 65% approval rate. But despite all the political patronage and spending, polls indicate Medina was not able to pass on his own popularity to his chosen candidate.
The same recent Greenberg-Diario Libre poll gives the PLD presidential candidate, Gonzalo Castillo, a 33% personal favorability rate and a 49% unfavorability rate. Castillo was minister of public works in the Medina administrations until he was chosen to run for the presidency. Luis Abinader of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), who has never held a government job, has a 54% favorability rating and a 24% unfavorability rating.
The top four face-to-face polls forecast Luis Abinader will win the 5 July election. The poll numbers are:
Centro Económico del Cibao: 55.2% Luis Abinader; 33% Gonzalo Castillo, 9.7% Leonel Fernandez, 1.7% Guillermo Moreno. 1,400 polled. June 2020.
Mark Penn/Stagwell: 47% Luis Abinader, Gonzalo Castillo 35%, Leonel Fernández 11%, Guillermo Moreno 2%. May 2020.
Greenberg-Diario Libre: Abinader 56%, Castillo 29, Fernández 12%, Guillermo Moreno 1%. 11-16 June 2020. 1,057 voters.
Gallup-Hoy: Luis Abinader 53.7%, Gonzalo Castillo 35.5%, Leonel Fernández 8.6%, Guillermo Moreno 1.3%. June 2020.
26 June 2020