Press Release Ecuador Latin America and the Caribbean World

Unreliable, Possibly Fake Exit Polls from CEDATOS Pose Threat To Ecuador Elections


04/11/2021 12:00am

Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460Mail_Outline

Best to Look at CEDATOS’s Track Record Before Using These Alleged Exit Polls

Washington, DC — A dubious exit poll release by polling firm CEDATOS could undermine public confidence in Ecuador’s election results and in the electoral process, Center for Economic and Policy Research Co-Director and economist Mark Weisbrot warned today. CEDATOS’s exit poll shows Guillermo Lasso with a 5 point lead over Andrés Arauz today today.

“This isn’t just a case of a sloppy polling firm releasing questionable results,” said Weisbrot. “Their track record shows a history of errors that are consistently politicized and too large to be plausibly attributed to chance.”

Most recently, CEDATOS predicted a technical tie in the first round in February’s election; Arauz finished with a 13 percentage point lead over Lasso. Margins of error for this type of polling are typically between 2 and 4 percentage points.

In the 2017 elections, a CEDATOS’ exit poll showed Lasso winning by 6 percentage points, when in fact he lost by more than 2 percentage points.

In Ecuador’s 2006 elections, the last CEDATOS poll that was allowed to be published in Ecuador showed conservative candidate Alvaro Noboa leading by 4 points over Rafael Correa. Correa won the election by more than 13 percentage points over Noboa.

Weisbrot noted that allegations of fraud are often made in close elections, vastly more often than such fraud actually occurs. This happened in the US presidential election last year, with resulting political violence. False allegations of fraud led to a military coup in Bolivia in 2019. And in the first round of Ecuador’s presidential election, false allegations of fraud undermined confidence in the election, as well as a movement to boycott the current round with a “nulo” vote. 

In fact, Lasso’s second-place victory, instead of Yaku Pérez, was predictable and was predicted, almost exactly, from results available the morning after the vote.

“It would be a terrible shame if the use of this dubious exit poll from CEDATOS were to result in false allegations of fraud, again,” Weisbrot said.

Disclaimer: Andrés Arauz was previously a Senior Research Fellow at CEPR.

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