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Poll: Correa Re-elected in Ecuador

  • Soldiers stand near ballot boxes, one that reads in Spanish "The vote is secret," as they are organized for upcoming elections for president and lawmakers, at the CEMEXPO, a warehouse used by the National Election Council in Quito, Ecuador, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Ecuador's elections will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    Soldiers stand near ballot boxes, one that reads in Spanish "The vote is secret," as they are organized for upcoming elections for president and lawmakers, at the CEMEXPO, a warehouse used by the National Election Council in Quito, Ecuador, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Ecuador's elections will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

  • President Rafael Correa casts his vote for the National Assembly members in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday  with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election. His  government has won broad backing from the lower classes as it leads Latin America in social spending.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    President Rafael Correa casts his vote for the National Assembly members in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Ecuadoreans elect president, vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election. His government has won broad backing from the lower classes as it leads Latin America in social spending.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

  • Supporters of Ecuador's President Rafael Correa attend his closing campaign rally in Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013.  Correa, 48, who is running for re-election has brought political stability to a traditionally unruly nation that cycled through seven presidents in a decade, from 1997-2007. If re-elected on Sunday, this four-year term will be his last unless the constitution is changed. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    Supporters of Ecuador's President Rafael Correa attend his closing campaign rally in Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Correa, 48, who is running for re-election has brought political stability to a traditionally unruly nation that cycled through seven presidents in a decade, from 1997-2007. If re-elected on Sunday, this four-year term will be his last unless the constitution is changed. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

  • Security officers run as President Rafael Correa, center left,  waves to supporters from the car while leaving a polling station after voting in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Martin Jaramillo)

    Security officers run as President Rafael Correa, center left, waves to supporters from the car while leaving a polling station after voting in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Ecuadoreans elect president, vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Martin Jaramillo)

  • A woman casts her ballot for parliament members at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb.17, 2013. Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with President Rafael Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    A woman casts her ballot for parliament members at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb.17, 2013. Ecuadoreans elect president, vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with President Rafael Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

  • A woman fills her ballot up at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb.17, 2013. Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday. President Rafael Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    A woman fills her ballot up at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb.17, 2013. Ecuadoreans elect president, vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday. President Rafael Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

  • Voters fill their balots up at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb.17, 2013. Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with  President Rafael Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    Voters fill their balots up at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb.17, 2013. Ecuadoreans elect president, vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with President Rafael Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

  • Presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso of the Creating Opportunities Party ( CREO ) waves to supporters at a polling station where he accompanied his running mate Juan Carlos Solines, not seen, to vote in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Lasso, a former Banco de Guayaquil executive president,  is the leading opponent to President Rafel Correa who is highly favored to win a second re-election. Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday.(AP Photo/Dominique Riofrio)

    Presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso of the Creating Opportunities Party ( CREO ) waves to supporters at a polling station where he accompanied his running mate Juan Carlos Solines, not seen, to vote in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Lasso, a former Banco de Guayaquil executive president, is the leading opponent to President Rafel Correa who is highly favored to win a second re-election. Ecuadoreans elect president, vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday.(AP Photo/Dominique Riofrio)

  • President Rafael Correa votes at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    President Rafael Correa votes at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Ecuadoreans elect president, vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

  • Presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso of the Creating Opportunities Party ( CREO ), left, gestures to supporters as he stands next to next to his wife Maria de Lourdes Alcivar, second from right,  at a polling station where he accompanied his running mate Juan Carlos Solines, right, to vote in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Lasso, a former Banco de Guayaquil executive president,  is the leading opponent to President Rafel Correa who is highly favored to win a second re-election. Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday.(AP Photo/Dominique Riofrio)

    Presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso of the Creating Opportunities Party ( CREO ), left, gestures to supporters as he stands next to next to his wife Maria de Lourdes Alcivar, second from right, at a polling station where he accompanied his running mate Juan Carlos Solines, right, to vote in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Lasso, a former Banco de Guayaquil executive president, is the leading opponent to President Rafel Correa who is highly favored to win a second re-election. Ecuadoreans elect president, vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday.(AP Photo/Dominique Riofrio)

  • Local residents stand over the rubble of a damaged market caused by Saturday's bombing in Quetta, Pakistan on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. The death toll from the horrific bombing that tore through the crowded vegetable market in a mostly Shiite Muslim neighborhood of southwestern Pakistan climbed to 81 with many of the severely wounded dying overnight, a Pakistani police official said Sunday. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

    Local residents stand over the rubble of a damaged market caused by Saturday's bombing in Quetta, Pakistan on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. The death toll from the horrific bombing that tore through the crowded vegetable market in a mostly Shiite Muslim neighborhood of southwestern Pakistan climbed to 81 with many of the severely wounded dying overnight, a Pakistani police official said Sunday. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

  • President Rafael Correa waves to supporters as he leaves a polling station after voting in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. President Rafael Correa gestures to photographers as he votes at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Martin Jaramillo)

    President Rafael Correa waves to supporters as he leaves a polling station after voting in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. President Rafael Correa gestures to photographers as he votes at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Ecuadoreans elect president, vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Martin Jaramillo)

  • Soldiers stand near ballot boxes, one that reads in Spanish "The vote is secret," as they are organized for upcoming elections for president and lawmakers, at the CEMEXPO, a warehouse used by the National Election Council in Quito, Ecuador, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Ecuador's elections will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
  • President Rafael Correa casts his vote for the National Assembly members in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday  with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election. His  government has won broad backing from the lower classes as it leads Latin America in social spending.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
  • Supporters of Ecuador's President Rafael Correa attend his closing campaign rally in Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013.  Correa, 48, who is running for re-election has brought political stability to a traditionally unruly nation that cycled through seven presidents in a decade, from 1997-2007. If re-elected on Sunday, this four-year term will be his last unless the constitution is changed. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
  • Security officers run as President Rafael Correa, center left,  waves to supporters from the car while leaving a polling station after voting in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Martin Jaramillo)
  • A woman casts her ballot for parliament members at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb.17, 2013. Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with President Rafael Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
  • A woman fills her ballot up at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb.17, 2013. Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday. President Rafael Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
  • Voters fill their balots up at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb.17, 2013. Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with  President Rafael Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
  • Presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso of the Creating Opportunities Party ( CREO ) waves to supporters at a polling station where he accompanied his running mate Juan Carlos Solines, not seen, to vote in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Lasso, a former Banco de Guayaquil executive president,  is the leading opponent to President Rafel Correa who is highly favored to win a second re-election. Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday.(AP Photo/Dominique Riofrio)
  • President Rafael Correa votes at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
  • Presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso of the Creating Opportunities Party ( CREO ), left, gestures to supporters as he stands next to next to his wife Maria de Lourdes Alcivar, second from right,  at a polling station where he accompanied his running mate Juan Carlos Solines, right, to vote in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Lasso, a former Banco de Guayaquil executive president,  is the leading opponent to President Rafel Correa who is highly favored to win a second re-election. Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday.(AP Photo/Dominique Riofrio)
  • Local residents stand over the rubble of a damaged market caused by Saturday's bombing in Quetta, Pakistan on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. The death toll from the horrific bombing that tore through the crowded vegetable market in a mostly Shiite Muslim neighborhood of southwestern Pakistan climbed to 81 with many of the severely wounded dying overnight, a Pakistani police official said Sunday. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)
  • President Rafael Correa waves to supporters as he leaves a polling station after voting in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. President Rafael Correa gestures to photographers as he votes at a polling station in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.  Ecuadoreans  elect president,  vice-president and National Assembly members Sunday with Correa highly favored to win a second re-election.(AP Photo/Martin Jaramillo)

Quito, Ecuador — Ecuadorean voters appeared set to elect President Rafael Correa to a third term yesterday, with an exit poll giving a wide margin of victory to the polemical economist who has raised living standards for the lower classes and widened their social safety net while being widely criticized as intolerant of dissent.

Correa had 61 percent of the vote compared to former Banco de Guayaquil executive president Guillermo Lasso with 20 percent, according to the exit poll by Cedatos-Gallup company. Six other candidates shared the remaining votes. The poll had a margin of 3.7 percentage points.

“Presidente! Presidente!” an excited Luzmila Cordova, 33, shouted as she craned to get a look at Correa as he voted in the capital yesterday.

“We get respect from this president and the poor feel like they, too, are human,” said Cordova, a maid who traveled from her hometown, Otavalo, with her three small children to watch Correa vote.

The 48-year-old president has brought uncharacteristic political stability to this oil-exporting nation of 14.6 million people that cycled through seven presidents in the decade before he first took office in 2007.

He won re-election in April 2009 after voters approved a constitutional rewrite that mandated a new ballot, and he would be legally barred from running again following a victory yesterday. To avoid a runoff, Correa needed a simple majority or 40 percent of the vote plus a 10-point margin over the No. 2 vote-getter.

A champion of big government in the mold of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez but more respectful of private property, Correa has endeared himself to the lower classes by making education and health care more accessible, building or improving 4,870 miles of highways and, the government says, creating 95,400 jobs in the past four years.

Lasso, meanwhile, promised to be friendlier to foreign investment, lower taxes on job-creating companies and roll back elements of what Correa calls his “21st century socialism,” such as a 5 percent tax on capital removed from Ecuador.

Critics decry his stacking of the courts with friendly judges and the government’s prosecution of indigenous leaders for organizing protests against Correa’s opening up of Ecuador to large-scale mining without their consent.