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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

González Colón campaign questions accuracy of online ‘poll’

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón

By The Star Staff

The chief of Jenniffer González Colón’s campaign for governor of Puerto Rico, Aníbal Vega Borges, on Monday rejected the results of a “poll,” which is actually an internet survey conducted by the company AtlasIntel, which has been questioned for its methodology and multiple previous failures.

At the same time, he reaffirmed the support that the current resident commissioner has in her pursuit of the governorship both within the ranks of the New Progressive Party (NPP) and in the general population. Several weeks ago, González Colón announced that she would challenge incumbent Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia in an NPP primary.

“We respect surveys and see them as study mechanisms. But there are polls and there are polls. There are polls and there are predictions,” Vega Borges said. “Here it fails in its unscientific methodology, according to polling experts, leaving out a large bloc of voters since its methodology is to carry out surveys on the internet and social networks, leaving out of its sample those who do not use technologies to answer questionnaires of more than 10 pages online.”

The poll carried out by AtlasIntel for Noticel showed that if the NPP primary were held today, Pierluisi would win 50.4% of the vote compared to 42.4% for González, while 86.1% of those statehooders polled ranked Pierluisi’s performance as very good, good or average, and 77.6% ranked González Colón as very good, good or average.

The same poll showed strong disapproval overall of Pierluisi with 64.1% of all 2,350 poll respondents disapproving of the governor, with 24.4% approving and 11.5% indicating they did not know. The poll was conducted between Oct. 8 and Oct. 12.

“What I see is that I have great support, impressive support, among members of the NPP,” Pierluisi told Noticiel. “In the electoral cycle in which we are in, this to me is very positive. As everyone knows who I am, … it is a primary for the governorship and … it is an NPP primary, and those who are going to vote in their great majority are members of NPP.”

“To have an approval, an acceptance of such a high level in the NPP rank and file is very positive,” the governor added.

González Colón’s campaign drew attention to the declarations of prominent University of Puerto Rico (UPR) professor and an expert in polling and political sociology, Dr. Jorge Benítez, who said the following about the AtlasIntel cyber survey.

“I think that very few people were interviewed in the end … that you can’t generalize those results,” he said. “There’s a way to do political polls that isn’t the way to sell Coca-Cola or Pepsi, one or the other, it’s another logic.”

Some examples of AtlasIntel falling short with its “polls”:

In Peru in 2021, the firm predicted that Pedro Castillo would come in fifth place and he became president, albeit briefly.

In Ecuador, between March 25 and 31, 2021, Andrés Arauz was indicated as the winner with 40% of votes over Guillermo Lasso with 39%, but Lasso won days later with 52% and Arauz was left with 48%.

In Colombia, AtlasIntel predicted that Rodolfo Hernández would win and he was defeated by Gustavo Petro, by 50 points to 47.

In Paraguay, AtlasIntel predicted that Santiago Peña would be defeated by Efraín Alegre and today Peña is the president of Paraguay.

In Argentina, AtlasIntel had predicted for the primaries of Aug. 13 of this year that Javier Milei would come in third place with 23% of the vote and he came in first place with over 30% of the vote; in the first round of Sunday’s elections, they had Milei in a tie with Patricia Bullrich with 24%, and Milei came in second, again with more than 30% of the vote.

“We know that Jenniffer González has the favor of the people; you see that in the street and in town after town,” Vega Borges said. “As governor, she will be the entity of change for the problems that the people claim need to be urgently resolved.”

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