The first results from any public opinion poll conducted after Schafik Handal's death show that the FMLN may be enjoying a bump in popularity following the death and funeral services of its historical leader. The poll by the Technological University of El Salvador, Center for Salvadoran Public Opinion Research revealed that the FMLN and ARENA are in a statistical tie leading into the March 12 elections:
- Nationally for mayor 29.21% favor ARENA to 27.8% for the FMLN
- Nationally for National Assembly 28.60% favor ARENA to 29.78% FMLN
This is a fairly dramatic swing from a La Prensa Grafica poll conducted earlier in January which had ARENA leading by 10 points in both categories.
The new poll also shows a very interesting race developing for mayor of San Salvador:
- Violeta Menjivar (FMLN) -- 24.92%
- Rodrigo Samayoa (ARENA) -- 24.62%
- Carlos Rivas Zamora (CD/FDR/PDC)-- 15.85%
This is the strongest showing for the current mayor, Rivas Zamora, in any poll since he left the FMLN.