The race to become Argentina's next president will head to a Nov. 19 runoff after no candidate secured a sufficient share of the vote in national elections yesterday. Economy Minister Sergio Massa took a surprise lead in the first round, taking over 36% of the vote as of this writing. He will face outsider candidate Javier Milei—a self-described anarcho-capitalist known for wielding a chainsaw at campaign rallies—in the runoff.
Analysts say the race is one of the most pivotal in modern history for South America's third-largest country. With the country mired in an economic crisis, inflation is on track to top 200% by the end of the year, while roughly 40% of the country lives below the poverty line.
The two candidates represent opposite poles of the political spectrum. Massa strongly supports a social safety net, while Milei has pledged to cut social spending and shutter at least half of the country's government agencies.