(CNN Spanish) — Córdoba is Argentina’s second most populous province. With 3,065,088 voters, it represents 8.66% of the country’s electorate, according to the data. of the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, a few days before the run, all eyes are focused there, why?
The province has been a major opponent of Kirchnerism, where former president Mauricio Macri won a large percentage of the vote, despite losing the 2019 general election. The primaries are the same as in the first round.
In Córdoba, Javier Milei won 33.54% of the vote in the first round of elections. His successor, the outgoing Peronist governor Juan Schieretti, won 29% without joining the Kirchnerist coalition. Together for Change (JxC), with Patricia Bulrich, came third with 22.62%, and Sergio Massa with the ruling Union for Homeland (UxP), only got 13.42%. According to the provisional data with 99.86% tables calculated, it is the province with the lowest percentage of votes.
In the run-off election on November 19, more than half of Córdoba’s population will not find the candidate they voted for in the first round. Who will they choose in the darkroom that day?
Milei, now in alliance with Macri, will seek a large vote for change, given that Cordoba has always been a favorable province for the place. In 2015, when Macri won a second term as president, he received 71.52% of the vote there, and in 2019, he received more than 60% of the vote in Córdoba, although he lost re-election in the first round.
In agreement with his new partner, who closed his two presidential campaigns in Córdoba, from Miley Space, they confirmed that the independent plans to do the same in the provincial capital, but they did not give further details.
However, it remains to be seen whether Mili can finally repeat the results that Macri was able to achieve in the province. The October 22 election was the worst in history for Together for Change, a coalition that makes up the Radical Civic Union (UCR), which has always been strong in the province. The runoff thus dissociates itself from Macri’s support for the libertarian. “Javier Mili’s rhetorical extremism is at the opposite end of our thinking”; UCR wrote in a statement that they would never “do anything with your space.”
Which side will Chiaretti play on?
Córdoba’s governor and former candidate Juan “El Gringo” Chiaretti received many votes, more than 665,000, and it is a mystery to see how they are distributed. The Cordoba Peronism that Chiaretti currently leads is not Kirchnerist. Since his assumption of the governorship in 2007, he maintained a distant relationship with then-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. A few months after his inauguration, a conflict between Kirchnerism and the countryside erupted over tariffs on agricultural exports, essentially soybeans. Since Córdoba was a great agricultural province, Chiaretti and his predecessor José Manuel de la Zota, although both Peronists, supported the countryside as much as the opposition.
This distance from Kirchnerism may be one of the reasons why Peronism continued to rule in Córdoba when Mauricio Macri won nationally in 2015. In 2019, when Macri was the presidential candidate with the most votes in the province, Schiaretti achieved his re-election, although he lost the election to Alberto Fernández.
In a final push toward a runoff, the ruling party’s Sergio Massa was in Rio Cuarto, the province’s second-most populous city, this week, where he made several economic announcements and rehearsed an apology for longstanding differences between Kirchnerism. “Many times Córdoba felt cut off by the central power, and I apologize to the people of Córdoba for whatever role I played,” the candidate said.
But Córdoba remains hostile to Massa, although he plans to return to the province in the coming days.
Although Schiaretti and his successor in the province, Martín Llaryora, have maintained an aloof position regarding the second election round, in recent days Córdoba’s governor and his wife, Senator Alejandro Vico, have criticized the minister-candidate. He was campaigning in the province. El Gringo spoke publicly about the “economic disaster caused by the Kirchnerist government of Sergio Massa”, while Vigo also criticized him in several publications on social networks. “Inexplicable. Candidate Kirchner came to our province to apologize for the injustices of Córdoba with his current government – yes, he will act as economy minister and president -,” he noted on X, previously Twitter.
However, Massa already had the support of other politicians in Schiaretti’s place, namely Natalia de la Zota, the daughter of Córdoba’s famous former governor, and several mayors.
We will have to see how the two candidates will fare there in the coming days and what the people of Cordoba will decide in the election. The vote is sure to be decisive in determining who will be Argentina’s next president.