Pablo Iglesias says he really enjoys sports metaphors, especially those about soccer, and he often uses them. His election campaign vocabulary is very popular, especially during the Eurocup soccer tournament, and it certainly hits the mark, though his charisma that does not impress everybody.
A few days ago, Iglesias resorted again to the soccer example to describe the maturity of his movement. According to the leader and candidate for prime minister, his political party reached a new awareness after the first six months in parliament (although in a completely deadlocked political situation) Podemos “held the ball,” Iglesias said, like the Spanish national soccer team does, to slow down the game and make it possible to lower the pace of the competition.
Now, it seems, it is preparing to strike.
The goal, just days before the June 26 elections, is very clear to all activists and sympathizers (who organize daily events, like bike rides and debates): the overtaking of the socialist PSOE and the positioning of Unidos Podemos as the second force in the country. Thus, the “final push,” the “last minute” of the election campaign, the widespread activity.
The electoral campaign of Unidos Podemos was an example of the use of traditional methods: knocking on doors. It was the result of very serious and reasoned organization, combined with the most modern techniques of social media and political marketing, in addition to all the slogans repeated ad nauseam: “The smile of a country.” Just Thursday in Madrid, there were four or five different initiatives. The paraphernalia was concentrated mainly in those areas where a handful of votes can determine the victory of a representative. Two days ago, Iglesias went to Guadalajara where the candidate for the constituency is Ariel Jerez, a friend of the Podemos leader, born in Argentina and a professor of political science, as well as a great connoisseur and scholar of the “movements.” For the first time, Iglesias — after public meetings and television appearances — made the classic “dip in a sea of people,” more typical of traditional candidates’ meetings, walking in the street to reach the last undecided voters.
In the last election in the Castilla-La Mancha region, the district of Guadalajara was lost by Podemos by only 800 votes. It seems that Rivera’s visit two days before the vote had an impact, and Ciudadanos grabbed the seat. Unidos Podemos studied scientifically the poll results from Dec. 20 and has been acting on the basis of that outcome, focusing where a few votes can move the important balance in terms of positions in the 350-member Congress of Deputies.
Iglesias has also released an interview on “20 Minutos,” in which the central argument was a constant of this election campaign: the relationship with the socialist PSOE and especially with their leader Sanchez, who insists he wants to leave the door open. It is one of the keys to solve the possible and probable post-election stalemate, which according to polls forecasting the PP in the lead, albeit weakened, followed by Unidos Podemos, PSOE and Ciudadanos. Pedro Sanchez is not ready to bet on this result, reported by most surveys conducted in recent days.
Thursday in an interview with the conservative daily El Mundo, he said that there are at least 30 percent of Spanish voters who would plead undecided (as happened in the last elections). The problem for Sanchez is that probably the majority of these undecideds could instead have one certainty: that of identifying the Socialist Party with the economic and political disaster of the country, with the policies of austerity that led the Spanish middle class to the brink of poverty, throwing many people on the street.
So, working the streets, Iglesias is trying to scrape together the votes that could be decisive.
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