Roberto Izurieta is Director of Latin American Projects at George Washington University.
He has worked in political campaigns in several Latin American countries and Spain, and was an advisor to Presidents Alejandro Toledo, of Peru;
Vicente Fox, from Mexico, and Álvaro Colom, from Guatemala.
The author is also a contributor to CNN en Español.
The opinions expressed here are solely his.
(CNN Spanish) -
(CNN Spanish) -
The latest poll on the popularity of Joe Biden came out (53%, in April, and 54%, in May) and the prophets of disaster celebrate it, just as the Democrats celebrated the low historical record that he maintained always Donald Trump as president (less than 50%). What we must understand is that, with a situation of deep political polarization, the consolidation of the vote also takes place, and this tends not to move much in time. This produces a kind of stabilization of the numbers because their electoral bases are difficult to undermine.
Before the last presidential election, the Republicans announced that the differences between the moderate Democrats and those on the left (Bernie Sanders and company) were going to divide them, they would not achieve unity and they would lose the election. It did not happen for the same reason: when there is polarization, the votes are consolidated. They are not divided, because the common enemy unites them.
When the political enemy is divided (Venezuela and, to a lesser extent, now Peru), internal divisions prevail.
In my opinion, as long as Pedro Castillo's party (Peru) does not have a strong opposition, its internal fights (Vladimir Cerrón versus the moderates and the formal sectors of the economy that join them) will prevail.
Sometimes, as I see it, it is like politicians have a natural tendency to fight, either on the home front or against their enemies on duty.
After all, in large part, politics is the struggle for power.
Biden improves America's image of Trump in the world, poll finds
Stable poll numbers, even though they show deep division / polarization, can be a good thing because everything becomes more predictable. Uncertainty often kills the chances of making a low-risk investment and, therefore, with a better chance of success, job creation and competitive prices.
When I was talking to a business group in our region that, like many of them, sympathized with Donald Trump because they liked his low-tax policy (and did not consider with the same importance the threats to democracy that led to two political trials and the uprising on Capitol Hill on January 6), one of them told me that Joe Biden was boring. My response was immediate, many times being something boring is good for politics, because to grow it is better if politics does not move much. He accepted the argument, but kept pushing for Donald Trump to win re-election.
I don't see Joe Biden as a disruptive leader. Many of the leaders, and much more in these times of the irruption of social networks, what they are looking for is the scandal to attract attention (especially those who are unknown and do not have much hope of becoming known as a result of their work) or like Donald Trump who does it to divide. Joe Biden, by contrast, is a political leader who is the product of political formality (what many call the establishment). In many respects, this will be a government where institutions (or as others would say: bureaucracy) reign.
I always thought that Donald Trump was not strategic but temperamental. His political bet from day one was division and polarization. Let us remember that the most relevant thing from the beginning of his presidential campaign was attacking Mexican immigrants, trying to denigrate them. Like the politicians of the socialism of the 21st century, the division between rich and poor, the neoliberal past against the homeland of all, promoted the division with that kind of nationalism with racist overtones, and they achieved many successes at the polls, especially at the beginning. After they conquered power, it was easier for them to win at the polls because they had persecuted their enemies to the point of getting them to leave their countries,or they are in jail (the case of Nicaragua is the most blatant) or that they are divided among themselves (Venezuela) because the democratic solutions are increasingly confused and distant. When people do not find a way out, they try to go anywhere in an uncoordinated way, each looking anywhere.
Against almost all odds, Trump won the presidency. All predictions except those who bet last, as if when the electorate was divided 50-50, they would not have the same probability of hitting Trump or Hillary Clinton. Trump was well served by that division strategy to win the presidency four years ago. But, the question now is whether that base of 30% or 40% of electoral base will allow him to return by winning again. The answer depends on the type of choice. In midterm elections where fewer people vote, you have a better chance of winning than a general election.
To this analysis we must add the internal choice of the parties.
Donald Trump took control of the Republican Party and its process to exact revenge rather than to promote the best candidates of his party (understanding the best as only those who have a better chance of winning the election against the Democrats) and who are more likely to win in the general election.
This, to me, is a disaster formula for Trump.
Assuming the economy continues to grow and vaccination is advancing, I daresay the Democrats' chances of success next year are high, despite Joe Biden's numbers apparently low and his administration lacking in color. media of Donald Trump.
After the storm, comes the calm.
Let's enjoy the calm.