The survey published in the August 10 issue of Prensa Libre is completely wrong and inaccurate. It is so inaccurate, in fact, that the only way one can imagine them coming up with such data is to believe that they deliberately misrepresented the true figures in order to manipulate the election outcome.
The facts are clear. Rafael Gimenez and I have conducted three polls whose findings are reported at the end of this memo. All three showed Balderon in first place and Sandra Torres in second. In the first survey, Gutierrez was in fifth place, behind both Morales and Zury Rios. The second poll had Gutierrez moving up to fourth place ahead of Rios. The final poll had Gutierrez in third place, Morales in fourth and Rios far behind.
All three polls showed Gutierrez’ vote share between 10-12 percent. The Prensa Libre poll has him at less than 2 percent.
I was the polling consultant to President Bill Clinton and Gimenez served in that capacity for President Felipe Calderon of Mexico. Our polls are internationally respected and almost always accurately predict the outcome of elections. In fact, in 2011, we predicted that Gutierrez would get 3% of the vote and he got 2.7%.
But we need to examine the reasons Pensa Libre would publish a false poll. First, lets rule out stupidity. The numbers for every other candidate are well within the realm of possibility. It is only the vote share for Gutierrez that is totally wrong.
Prensa Libre is well known as a tool of the establishment in Guatemala which is determined to protect its corrupt privileges. They know that Gutierrez is the most formidable obstacle in their path. So they understate his vote share to persuade people not to vote for him.
Instead, they say that Jimmy Morales — who has not run a single advertisement on television — somehow is in second place. They realize that Morales cannot possibly defeat Baldizon. He has no money, no real party, and no base. He just has the name recognition he earned as a comedian.
So Prensa Libre is determined to persuade people that a vote for Gutierrez is a wasted vote.
In fact, voting for Gutierrez offers the only real hope of freeing Guatemala from the corruption that holds it so tightly. And that is why Prensa Libre publishes polls like this.
One might call them Prensa Loco.