Most provinces had already voted
before midyear (and many in ruling
party ranks argue that Buenos Aires
Province would have been wise to do the
same) so only four districts will be facing local elections today. These consist
of two central majors (namely Buenos
Aires City and Buenos Aires Province)
and two of the smaller and more outlying
provinces, La Rioja and Catamarca.
Buenos Aires Province Governor María Eugenia Vidal is widely considered
to stand even less chance than her national boss after Frente de Todos gubernatorial candidate Axel Kicillof almost
clinched an absolute majority in the
PASO primaries with 49.34 percent,
trouncing Vidal and Juntos por el Cambio which struggled to 32.56 percent.
“Game over,” the pundits concluded at
the time, especially because there is no
run-off. Vidal has gained several percent in recent opinion polls since then
but not enough to come close, it seems.
Voters will also be electing 23 provincial senators and 46 assembly legislators, as well as 135 mayors with tight
races in the provincial capital of La
Plata and the huge Atlantic resort of Mar
del Plata standing out.
In contrast, there is a run-off
in this City and it is more than
possible that it will be held, since incumbent Mayor Horacio
Rodríguez Larreta would need
an absolute majority (50 percent + 1) tomorrow to avoid it.
In the PASOs, his share of the
vote was 46.48 percent. In a November 24 run-off Rodríguez
Larreta would be squaring off against
the Frente de Todos mayoral candidate
Matías Lammens (currently the president of San Lorenzo football club) whose PASO vote was 31.93 percent.
In Catamarca, Peronist candidate
Raúl Jalil has an even bigger cushion
than Kicillof, having swept 57 percent
of the PASO vote and leaving Radical
candidate Roberto Gómez trailing on 25
percent. Half the provincial legislators
(20 deputies and eight senators) will also face the voters.
La Rioja took the unusual
step of skipping PASO at provincial level but Alberto Fernández garnered almost
exactly half the vote in the
presidential primaries last
August (as against 31.64 percent for President Mauricio
Macri), thus indicating that
Peronist candidate Ricardo Quintela
stands a much better chance than Radical Senator Julio Martínez (who was
Macri´s Defence minister until the
2017 midterms). Half the legislature (18
provincial deputies) will also be going
to the polls.
Finally, one third of the national Senate (or eight of the 24 districts) is renewed every two years. Each district
has three senators irrespective of size
or population with the winners picking
up two seats and the runner-up the
other. This year the eight districts are
this City, Salta, Tierra del Fuego, Chaco, Río Negro, Santiago del Estero,
Neuquén and Entre Ríos. Of these, only
the Federal Capital will be holding both
local and senatorial elections tomorrow.