« In the run-up to the upcoming elections in Argentina, the five presidential candidates took the stage for the second presidential debate on Sunday, seizing their final opportunity to address a massive audience before October 22 in Buenos Aires. Unlike the previous week’s debate in Santiago del Estero, where candidates mainly targeted their existing supporters, this time they sharpened their rhetoric to distinguish themselves from their opponents.
Patricia Bullrich, aiming for a spot in the runoff, focused on discrediting Sergio Massa, her main rival. Bullrich criticised Massa for the rise in inflation and poverty during his tenure as Minister of Economy. She employed direct language to appeal to the audience’s concerns.
Massa, in contrast, spoke more about his plans than his current role in the economy. He discussed his economic policies when responding to Juan Schiaretti, emphasising the reduction of taxes for certain regional industries. In response to Bullrich’s attacks, Massa pointed out that he never asked Gerardo Millman to resign and highlighted alleged corruption cases during the Kirchner era.
Javier Milei primarily focused on economic issues and clashed with Myriam Bregman, whom he accused of being a communist or socialist and making controversial remarks.
The three frontrunners, Milei, Bullrich, and Massa, are vying for a spot in the runoff or an additional presidential debate. Milei has a chance of achieving both, while Bullrich and Massa are direct competitors for the second position. Interestingly, they do not share many voters, as Milei has taken votes from both sides, breaking the polarisation that characterised Argentine politics for a decade.
The candidates now seek to consolidate their gains and hope that their proposals resonate beyond informed voters to make a difference in the closely contested election on October 22. Additionally, Bullrich and Massa aim to weaken their rivals with fewer votes, such as Bregman and Schiaretti, as every vote won or retained can be decisive in this closely contested election. »