In Honduras’ presidential election of 2013, the National Party candidate, Juan Orlando Hernández, won with a total of 1,149,302 votes. Libre’s candidate, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya came in second with 896,498 votes. The Liberal candidate, Mauricio Villeda, came in third with 632,320 votes. The Anti-Corruption Party (PAC) candidate, Salvador Nasralla, came in fourth with 418,443 votes.
With about three-quarters of the votes counted, thus far, in this year’s election, the tally stands…
- Salvador Nasralla (mostly an alliance between Libre and PAC supporters): 1,067,754
- Juan Orlando Hernández (National Party): 1,043,472
- Luis Zelaya (Liberal Party) 371,501:
Judging by these numbers, Hernández appears to be running ahead of the pace to reach or surpass his vote total for 2013. Nasralla also appears to be running ahead of the pace to reach or surpass the combined total votes cast in 2013 for Libre and PAC.
Luis Zelaya, however, is significantly behind the pace to hit or surpass the total votes cast for the Liberal Party’s Villeda in 2013. I suspect many Liberals abandoned their party and went with Nasralla.
Assuming that those who voted for Xiomara Castro de Zelaya and Salvador Nasralla in 2013 voted for Nasralla this year, and assuming that about one-third of those who voted for Mauricio Villeda in 2013 decided to go with Nasralla (mostly as a protest vote against Hernández, it is reasonable to project that Nasralla could garner more than 1.5 million votes in this year’s election.
One possible reason this might not happen is if a large number of those who voted for Nasralla in 2013 decided not to vote for him this time because of his alliance with the left-leaning Libre.
But, assuming Nasralla held on to most of his PAC support from 2013, as well as most the Libre voters who went to the polls in 2013, Hernández would have to improve his 2013 vote count by at least 475,000 (roughly) votes. That would represent an increase of about 45 percent.
Doesn’t seem likely, unless a lot more Nationalist voters decided to go to the polls this year than before AND a huge number of solidly moderate PAC voters opted to abandon Nasralla and go with Hernández… again because of Nasralla’s alliance with Libre, and especially because of his close ties with Libre’s leader, Manuel Zelaya.
In other words, Hernández can reasonably only win this year if he somehow managed to hyper-stimulate his base AND drew significantly from Nasralla’s original base. Of course, this does not factor in the possibility of fraud.