Premise Predicted a Milei Victory in Argentina’s Primary Elections. No One Else Did.
Argentina’s Presidential Primary Elections | 14 August 2023
Political newcomer Javier Milei stunned Argentina’s political establishment by running away with over 30% of the August 13th presidential primary vote. His victory was unforeseen by all traditional pollsters in Argentina, who predicted that both a juntos por el cambio coalition and a únion por la patria coalition would finish ahead of Milei’s party. Milei, a right-leaning populist and self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalist, has seen his popularity rise as the country’s inflation rate skyrockets and ordinary Argentines look for any alternative to the status quo. In anticipation of the August 13th primary, Premise conducted a nationally representative survey using its unique research technology platform. The results were striking, with Premise predicting Milei’s victory more accurately than any other pre-election poll.
At 35.7%, Premise was closest to Milei’s actual primary vote share of 30%, while other polls predicted Milei to capture between 17%-20% (see Figure 1). Milei’s victory, and the significant gap between predictions and actual vote count, sheds light on the difficulties traditional pollsters have in Argentina.
Premise had the most accurate polling result, with a deviation of just 5.6% from Milei’s official primary election results (see Figure 2). This clearly contrasts with other polling firms such as Atlas Intel, which exhibited a deviation of almost 10%, and Gabinete Canario de Opinion Publica Servicios y Mercados’ deviation of 12.5%.
Premise’s capabilities are being used to predict regional polling outcomes, from Brazil’s contentious presidential election in 2022 to Hernandez’s upset over Gutierrez in the 2022 Colombian primary election.
From August 1st to August 4th 2023, Premise polled a stratified sample of 575 adults representative by age, gender, and geography across Argentina. Post-stratification weights were then applied to the results, but all adjustments due to weighting were well below one percentage point. The margin of error was 4.1%. Premise was able to field responses from all 23 provinces in Argentina, including the capital region, as well as from 135 municipalities.
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