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Xiomara Zelaya: Bona Fide Poll Leader in Honduras

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The latest CID-Gallup and Encuestadora Paradigma presidential polls came out in September. CID-Gallup polled 1,220 people between September 6-12 and Encuestadora Paradmigna polled 2,400 people during September 16-24.

The CID-Gallup poll had Xiomara Castro de Zelaya of the Liberty and Refoundation Party (Libre) in the lead with 29 percent, Juan Orlando Hernández of the National Party in second place with 27 percent, Mauricio Villeda of the Liberal Party with 15 percent, and Salvador Nasralla of the Anti-Corruption Party (PAC) with 11 percent. The Encuestadora Paradigma poll had Mrs. Zelaya ahead with 22.8 percent, followed by Mr. Hernández with 21.9 percent, Mr. Villeda with 12 percent, and Mr. Nasralla with 10 percent.

Two other CID-Gallup polls were conducted on Jan. 14-18 and May 2-8, while four other Encuestadora Paradigma polls were conducted on Feb. 4-13, April 14-23, July 16-30, and Aug. 16-30.

The CID-Gallup poll (1,256 people) in January had Mrs. Zelaya ahead with 25 percent, followed by Mr. Hernández with 23 percent, Mr. Nasralla with 18 percent, and Mr. Villeda with 16 percent. The CID-Gallup poll (1,233) in May had Mrs. Zelaya with 28 percent, Mr. Nasralla with 21 percent, Mr. Hernández with 18 percent, and Mr. Villeda with 14 percent.

The Encuestadora Paradigma poll (2,266) in February had Mrs. Zelaya with 25 percent, Mr. Hernández 18.6 percent, Mr. Villeda with 12.8 percent, and Mr. Nasralla 9.7 percent. The one in April (2,492) had Mrs. Zelaya with 19.7 percent, Mr. Hernández with 13.3 percent, Mr. Villeda with 10.2 percent, and Mr. Nasralla with 9.9 percent. The one in July (2,429) had Mrs. Zelaya with 19.8 percent, Mr. Hernández with 16.7 percent, Mr. Villeda with 7 percent, and Mr. Nasralla with 6.2 percent. The one in August (2,450) had Mrs. Zelaya with 22.9 percent, Mr. Hernández with 19.9 percent, Mr. Villeda with 9.4 percent, and Mr. Nasralla with 9.2 percent.

In between the CID-Gallup and Encuestador Paradigma polls, a third polling firm, Le Vote/Harris, conducted a poll in April. That poll had Mrs. Zelaya on top with 18.67 percent, followed by Mr. Nasralla with 17.33 percent, Mr. Hernández with 13.33 percent, and Villeda with 10.33 percent.

While there have been numerous other presidential polls conducted in Honduras during the past year, the ones above may be the best. Judging by them, the chances look good for Honduras electing its first woman president on Nov. 24. Mrs. Zelaya has consistently polled at between 20-30 percent. In the CID-Gallup polls, she has remained steady at between 25-30 percent.

So Mrs. Zelaya does appear to have a solid 25 percent of the electorate behind her. But she cannot win the presidency with that percentage of the popular vote, so she's going to have to find at least another 5-10 percent to win.