Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
Free Webinar - The Role of Psychology in Trading - Thursday, December 8, 2022 | 04:00PM EST Enroll Now

Not your father's Peronists: Why Macri flopped with young Argentines

Economic Indicators Aug 19, 2019 09:24AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. argentina

By Cassandra Garrison and Marina Lammertyn

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - For Luis Joaquin Caro, who was about 2 years old when Argentina last defaulted on its debt in 2001, casting his vote for left-leaning Peronist candidate Alberto Fernandez in the country's recent primary election was a no-brainer.

"During the Kirchner years, I lived very well," he said, referring to what now seems like a bygone era of his young life before four years of spending cuts and austerity measures under President Mauricio Macri.

"Today, it's not like that," said Caro, who is from a working-class part of Buenos Aires Province. The 21-year-old said he had always seen former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her late husband former President Nestor Kirchner - whose consecutive terms spanned 2003 to 2015 - as champions of the workers.

Cristina Kirchner, a polarizing figure in Argentina, is the running mate of Fernandez, whose landslide victory over Macri in the Aug. 11 primary wrong-footed pollsters and shocked investors, who worry that Argentina may fail once again to pay its debts if the left returns to power.

Argentine markets plunged into a nosedive last week amid growing fears about a rerun of "Kirchnerismo", when Argentina had currency controls and other interventionist policies.

Caro's sentiments are emblematic of a groundswell of support for Fernandez among younger voters which, while not altogether unexpected for pollsters, shocked them in its magnitude.

Part of the challenge for pollsters in Argentina was that young voters, one of the demographics most impacted by high unemployment, are less likely to have a conventional phone where canvassers can reach them - a factor also cited by polling firms in Britain and the United States after upsets in recent years.

For Caro and many other young voters in Argentina, talk of the pain surrounding the 2001 crisis was eclipsed by generous social benefits and subsidies under the Kirchners' that helped pluck their families from poverty after the debt default.

"The years of Kirchnerism that I lived during my childhood, I lived very well and maybe at that time, I did not realize it," said Lucila Servelli, 16, who voted for the first time on Sunday, though voting is not compulsory for 16 to 18 year olds.

"But comparing it with now, many things have changed. Now, my family had to give up many things," said Servelli, who was not born when Argentina defaulted in 2001.

SOCIAL ISSUES

Young voters have far less in common with Macri, whose term has focused on free-market reforms by stimulating foreign investment and a promised economic recovery that failed to materialize, said political analyst Julio Burdman.

Macri's image is saddled with resentment at high unemployment, especially among younger Argentines, he added.

To make matters worse, salaries have eroded significantly. That is an extra sting for young voters who are new to the workforce and feeling the pinch in their own pockets for the first time.

For others like 16-year-old Pilar Gil Navarro, the support for Kirchnerism is not just about economics. For her, the Kirchnerist agenda, which is more liberal on social issues, is more in line with her values.

"One of the issues that I want to deal with is legal, safe and free abortion," Navarro said. "In the Macri government, there is no Ministry of Health, showing that a lot would have to happen to legalize abortion, which is something Fernandez said is important as a matter of public health."

There is also a certain cachet attached to Kirchnerismo, which counts high-profile actors and musicians among its supporters, analysts said.

Straight-laced Macri, whose supporters are mostly over 50, is viewed as a polar opposite from the Kirchnerismo image of questioning the status quo and confronting an established order.

"That, for a young person, is much more seductive than a conservative agenda," said Facundo Nejamkis, director of polling firm Opina Argentina.

PHONE GAP

Argentine millennials and "generation Z" voters are one of the demographics most impacted by poverty and unemployment, making them even less accessible to pollsters who often reach voters by phone and internet.

"One of the explanations, for why in almost all the surveys we failed to calculate the number of votes between Fernandez and Macri, is precisely not having been able to detect the sufficient number of young people. They don't answer the landline or because they just have mobile phones for surfing the web," Nejamkis said.

Chris Jackson, U.S. vice president for Ipsos Public Affairs, said the polling challenge takes on another dimension in Argentina because more affluent young people, who tend to be more accessible to phone and internet research, are more tilted toward Macri, potentially skewing results.

"Phone use is unevenly distributed with landlines mostly present in older, more affluent populations, cell phones with younger populations and less affluent populations often not having any phone access," Jackson said.

Not your father's Peronists: Why Macri flopped with young Argentines
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email