A warning forces Isabel Díaz Ayuso to live a double life during the campaign. “He should be more careful”, reads a resolution of the electoral board of March 25 that ugly to use the speaker of the presidency of the Community of Madrid to ask for the vote for his candidacy as leader of the PP. Since then, she has split her agenda in two: she is president by day and candidate by night. It happened yesterday. In the morning, he presents with an institutional tone the agreements adopted by his Government at the headquarters of the regional Executive. In the afternoon, radical change. He appears on the soccer field that the PP has chosen for an electoral act, puts on a red shirt with the number 19 on his back, and launches into partisan struggle with the fervor of a defender with a hard leg and sharp heels.
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“The people of Madrid know that in these elections they have an opportunity to answer the Government of Spain,” he says, while dozens of people pressed against the fence of the field applaud him. Before, the president’s bodyguards work hard so that no one grabs her shoulder, or holds her waist, in the photos that demand of her. There are many. The CIS points out that citizens suspend the president of Madrid, to whom they give a rating of 4.9, but those in favor express it with enthusiasm.
“Photo with this man who has just been vaccinated in the Wanda!”, Asks a woman in one of the long avenues of Sanchinarro, north of the capital, one of those electoral granaries that the PP hopes to snatch from Cs in the May 4 elections.
-Freedom! Freedom! – shouts a father with his son, because the main message of the candidate has penetrated among her voters.
The emotions provoked by the evening visit, similar to that of previous days in Aranjuez or Alcalá de Henares, contrast with the restraint to which Díaz Ayuso has been forced in his acts as president.
“We can make announcements of everything that has been agreed in the governing council, but at the time when it is necessary to delve into electoral strategies it is better to leave it out. [de la rueda de prensa gubernamental] to avoid any discomfort or complaint from other parties ”, acknowledges the leader of the PP.
“All this is approved in the Governing Council,” intercedes a day before a senior executive, when it is pointed out that present in the middle of the campaign the remodeling works of October 12 and La Paz – valued at 700 million, underlines the president – can be problematic, because two projects paid for with public money are associated with the image of a candidate.
Hunting for the coronavirus vote
For this reason, Díaz Ayuso’s agenda has been divided in two, although it has a common element: the president and the candidate criticize each decision of Pedro Sánchez.
The pandemic has left more than 23,000 dead in the region, and more than 646,000 infected detected in the region. As the majority of those surveyed by the CIS criticize Díaz Ayuso’s decisions to fight the pandemic (62% see them as regular, bad or very bad), the PP knows that the elections are being played on the ability of his candidate to attract to the former voters of Vox (64.6% would want her as president) and Cs (61%). That is why its strategists make no effort to build a transversal discourse that accommodates the more citizens the better, or that tries to convince those who do not believe that things have been done well.
Collision with the left
Quite the opposite. The clash with the left is the daily flying goal of the electoral tour that will end on May 4.
“The electorate of the left is disappointed with everything that has been promised and has not been done: when you send so many citizens to strike with wrong decisions …”, Díaz Ayuso said yesterday in Sanchinarro.
“People want to be with her,” says Carlos Izquierdo, head of the PP campaign. “This is what we are going to prioritize.”
Because Díaz Ayuso’s campaign is Díaz Ayuso. Unlike other territorial barons, the conservative leader has no ambition for the presence of regional presidents, former ministers or former popular leaders who launch her in the sprint to the polls, according to a trusted source. The presence of those flashy names, so coveted on other occasions, is subject to the Ayuso effect. If they want, they say on the president’s team, they will be. Which is not the same as frantically calling them to be there.
With Pablo Casado as an exception to the rule, the decision photographs how many things have changed since that unknown PP candidate debuted in 2019. No one rules out appearances by the popular presidents of Andalusia, Galicia or Murcia; or former ministers such as Fátima Báñez in sectoral events. They would all do it, however, as the opening act. An unthinkable situation two years ago.
In 2021, everything has changed. Díaz Ayuso already commands the Royal Post Office and the PP, and that is why she has to be president by day and candidate by night.