May 28, 2018

Colombians unhappy with status quo

A polling station in Cali, Colombia. Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Sunday's elections in Colombia have set up a runoff next month between ideological opposites: right-wing senator Ivan Duque and leftist Bogotá mayor and former guerrilla Gustavo Petro.

Why it matters: Duque is the favorite, but whoever wins will face an electorate with little trust in its leaders, new data from Gallup's World Poll shows:

  • As of 2013, 57% of Colombians "rated their lives positively enough to be considered thriving," per the survey. That number has fallen every year since, and is now 42%.
  • Slow economic growth is one factor. Confidence in government is another: "In 2017, Colombians' confidence in their national government dropped to a record-low 22%," while 90% say government corruption is widespread.
  • Two more big concerns on voters' minds: the huge influx of Venezuelan refugees, and the peace process with the FARC rebel group, which has polarized the country.

Go deeper

Sanders requests recount of Iowa recanvass after results show shrunken margin

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a statement Tuesday night he will request a recount of the Iowa Democratic Party's recanvass results.

Where it stands: Both Buttigieg and Sanders requested partial recanvasses in Iowa last week after results were delayed and showed several errors following a software malfunction on caucus night.

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Energy deputy secretary nominee faces heat after contradicting Trump

Mark Menezes speaks at a forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Trump administration officials are internally raising concerns about President Trump’s nominee for Energy deputy secretary, who appeared to openly contradict the president on nuclear waste storage at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain last week.

Driving the news: While speaking at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing last Wednesday, Mark Menezes told members of the panel that the Trump administration is still interested in storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and that “what we're trying to do is to put together a process that will give us a path to permanent storage at Yucca."