In the first of four polls in advance of the May presidential elections, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner shows the race in a near-dead heat. Danilo Medina, of the ruling PLD party, has a 1-point lead over former president and PRD candidate Hipolito Mejia. This 47-to-46 percent race is well within the margin of error. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner conducted this poll together with Diario Libre, the Dominican Republic’s largest-circulated daily newspaper.
Diario Libre’s Spanish-language story can be found on their website.
- Among likely voters (about 72 percent of the electorate), the outcome of the race is no clearer; Medina grows to 49 percent and Mejia to 48. If the race holds and neither candidate surpasses the 50 percent mark - a second round would become necessary. Among likely voters in a second round scenario, Medina pulls ahead to 50 percent to Mejia’s 48 percent voteshare - though still within the margin of error.
- There is a marked gender gap between Dominican men and women. Mejia has a 14-point lead among men (54 to 40 percent), while Medina wins women by 17 points (55 to 38 percent). Margarita Cedeño de Fernandez, the current first lady and running mate of Medina, enjoys majority approval among all - but fully 83 percent of women approve of the job she has done in her role as first lady.
- Current president and PLD leader Leonel Fernandez enjoys high approval ratings. A majority of Dominicans - 60 percent - approve of the job he’s done as president. Yet President Fernandez has been unable to transfer this goodwill to his would-be successor, Danilo Medina. Despite the president’s high approval ratings, a majority (55 percent) think the DR is headed in the wrong direction, with rising crime and economic woes driving these concerns.
- Mejia has been able to capitalize on this discontent and desire for change. Although his favorability ratings were much lower when he left office in 2004, this recent data shows he has been able to rehabilitate his image and offer an alternative to Dominican voters.
The survey fielded February 28 to March 3 and was designed and analyzed by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. One thousand and four Dominican adults were interviewed, of whom 727 were identified as likely voters. This sub-sample, which represents 72 percent of the voting-age population, is defined as those who give at least a 7 on a vote likelihood scale of 1 to 10 and who voted in the 2008 presidential election (or were too young to vote at the time). The margin of error on random samples of 1,004 and 727 are plus or minus 3.1 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively, at confidence intervals of 95 percent.