The daily life of the next few days in Costa Rica will be marked by the presidential elections, whose first round is Sunday, February 4, 2018. This electoral process has different characteristics, being the most conspicuous the narrow margin that exists between three candidates for the presidency, This is why the development of presidential debates will be even more important for voters.
The main television networks in the country have established the day and time of their debates, which will be held in the hours of the largest television audience to reach the largest number of viewers. Undoubtedly, the more controversial an electoral contest is, the greater the interest it will generate in the public; Without a doubt, the most recent example on the continent comes from the US presidential elections. made in 2016 between the Democrat Hillary Clinton and the Republican Donald Trump, whose first debate reached more than 100 million viewers in a live broadcast, not counting the subsequent reproductions of it on digital platforms. One more reason that assures us how attractive it is for a country to see presidential candidates contrast their government projects.
Why will debates be so important in 2018?
In the electoral processes of 2010 and 2014, between 5 and 12% of the voters made their decision after observing the presidential debates, for this year 2018, all the polls indicate that this number will increase, for two reasons, that we describe then:
• The second round is practically safe. All surveys take for granted that there will be a second round of elections, none of the candidates will reach the first round with a percentage greater than 40% of voters in their favor.
• The narrow margin of difference between candidates. The three main contenders for the presidency had the following voting intention percentages in December: Castro 18%, Álvarez 14%, and Piza 13%. These data were provided by the CIEP survey.
What does the electorate say?
Given the great expectation of the voters to hear the messages that the candidates will give, we have decided to request the opinion of some voters from different cities in the country about what they expect to happen in the presidential debates, then we will show some:
• “I have not yet made the decision on who to vote for, I will give my vote to the one who best expresses what the solutions will be for the problems the country is experiencing, I hope there will be more work for young people in the next four years”. María Hernández, 56 years old, Alajuela.
• “From the presidential debate I hope that my candidate increases his advantage over the other candidates, I already made my decision, and I am working so that others also join the change” Julio Crespo, 44 years old, San José.
• “I am afraid that all the candidates will remain more of the same as always in each election, I hope to hear the debates and from there define my vote” Zonia Larez, 26 years old, Escazú.
• “I want to wait, it seems to me that the first round is not as relevant as the second, that is why I will make the decision as to who to vote after having the results of the first round, but I will be a viewer of the debates”. Daniel Rivero, 38 years old, Heredia.
By what means is the Costa Rican informed of the electoral process?
6 out of 10 Costa Ricans are informed of political events through television, however, in this opportunity, social networks have been the scene of controversial discussions between supporters of presidential candidates, which has forced their campaign centers to design better strategies to reach the electorate through social networks, disclosed in these ways their government plans, becoming closer to the people.
Will the polls hit their forecasts?
Cannot be sure yet, we must remember that the year 2016 at world level was the worst year for the pollsters, because the results in large electoral processes in the world were very far from the scenarios they raised, examples such as Brexit in Great Britain, Presidential of USA, Peace Process in Colombia, for placing only three examples, the results were different from the ones presented. What will happen this year in Costa Rica? It is not yet known, but the polls have been establishing scenarios and it is possible that a large number of voters decide who to vote for depending on the performance of the candidates in the televised debates, so this coming January 25 and 30 and February 1, There will be many who will be attentive to TV to decide which candidate is the best option to take the reins of this great nation.