Heavy Rains Threaten to Disrupt Argentina’s Primaries Sunday

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Heavy rains that have flooded areas of Buenos Aires province may prevent some voters from turning up on Sunday for primaries where Argentines will pick their presidential candidates for October elections.

The greater metropolitan area of Buenos Aires has received about 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain in the past week and another 6 inches could fall through the weekend, according to Eduardo Sierra, who has been tracking weather for the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange for four decades. On average, the area receives 2.75 inches of rain during August, he said.

The ruling Victory Front alliance’s only candidate, Daniel Scioli, will probably take the majority of votes in the primaries, followed by the Cambiemos opposition alliance led by Mauricio Macri. Given that Scioli is more popular in poorer areas of greater Buenos Aires which tend to flood more often and turn dirt roads to mud, he would be the most affected by bad weather, according to Raul Aragon, director of the polling firm Raul Aragon & Asociados.

“When it rains hard the abstention rates rise in the poorest areas,” Aragon said. “This could hamper Scioli a bit in greater Buenos Aires.”

About 1,600 people have already been evacuated in Buenos Aires province due to the intense rain and flooding, Infobae reported on its website.

Scioli had 37.1 percent support compared with 31.4 percent for Cambiemos in an Aragon poll published Friday. The Aug. 3-6 survey of 3,504 people has a margin of error of 1.8 percentage points.

For the Oct. 25 presidential election to succeed President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the leading candidate needs 45 percent of the vote or more than 40 percent with a 10 percentage point difference over the runner-up.

“I hope this changes, but the maps are scary,” Sierra, the meteorologist, said.

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