Gap between rejection and approval narrows for Chile’s upcoming constitutional referendum
A new poll conducted by Cadem between July 20-22 reveals a shrinking gap between approval and rejection for Chile’s constitutional plebiscite, to be held on September 4. In the poll, 47% of Chilean citizens rejected the proposed constitution, 39% approved it, and 14% were not sure/no response. At an 8% gap, this is the smallest difference between rejection and approval since June 10.
Despite a high rate of rejection for the referendum, few voters want to keep the constitution as is. Just 21% support rejecting the new constitution and maintaining the current constitution from the Pinochet dictatorship. Many voters are still interested in a new constitution, yet it remains unclear just what form a new document would take. According to James Bosworth and Lucy Hale at the Latin America Risk Report, “To the dismay of the new constitution’s staunch supporters, Boric recently announced that he would be willing to pursue a rewrite if the referendum fails. This announcement undoubtedly weakens voters’ likelihood of supporting the referendum because it pits the new text against some hypothetical ideal text rather than the deeply flawed 1980 constitution.”
Just 1% of fundraising thus far has gone towards campaigning to approve the referendum, with 99% supporting rejection, reports BioBioChile. The outlet also reported yesterday that representative Jorge Alessandri of the right-wing Unión Demócrata Independiente (UDI) party has argued that José Antonio Kast, the runner-up in last year’s presidential election, should not be vocal in his support for the rejection campaign. Alessandri believes that Kast may alienate polarized voters and prevent the rejection campaign from getting the 50% plus 1 needed.
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