In terms of which political party people identified with, 40% said ARENA, 29% the FMLN, and 25% independent. If we compare those numbers to August 2009, shortly after President Mauricio Funes was inaugurated as the first president representing the FMLN in El Salvador, we can get a better sense of how the tables have turned. At that time, 43% identified with the FMLN, 22% with ARENA, and 31% independent. Pretty significant turn around.
In terms of the 2014 presidential vote, ARENA's candidate, Norman Quijano, leads with 47% of the intended vote against the FMLN's Salvador Sánchez Cerén with 26%. One of the interesting findings from the survey is that when people are asked about a generic candidate with neither Quijano nor Sánchez Cerén mentioned by name, ARENA only leads 40% to 30%. According to the poll and to what is agreed by many inside and outside the party, Sánchez Cerén is a bit of a drag on the party.
But while I think that there's a tendency to believe that the FMLN would win in 2014 if they had only chosen someone other than Sánchez Cerén, that's not necessarily the case. In thinking about what would be best for El Salvador in 2014, 49% agreed that it would be better for ARENA to govern while only 28% said the FMLN.
Now it's not impossible for Sánchez Cerén and the FMLN to win. A lot can happen in the next two years. However, the FMLN has dug itself into quite a whole and it's going to be difficult to dig out.