Predictions are being made that having learned that they can so easily influence international politics through murderous bombing campaigns, Islamist terrorist will most likely try a repeat performance of the Madrid massacres in Rome, London and even Washington, D.C., at a time when mass casualties could influence voters in those cities in a similar manner.
In fact, Islamist fundamentalists may well think they have won, and that Thursday’s slaughter moved the Spanish electorate to vote the way they intended them to. However, believing that would be wrong.
Independent polls carried out on Wednesday, the day before the bombings, showed the Socialists ahead with a slight majority.
A poll carried out by Noxa Consulting on Wednesday gave the Socialists less than a 2 percent margin, putting them, nevertheless, in the lead. A similar poll conducted Friday — a day after the attacks, gave the Socialists an even greater lead. The big difference — and the clear reason of the Socialist victory — was the nearly 3 million votes the Socialists added while Aznar’s now not so Popular Party lost about 690,000 votes.
One also must take into consideration the millions of young protestors who took to the streets of Spanish cities in the days before the start of the Iraq war a year ago this week. They were expressing their opposition to Aznar’s policy of allying Spain with the United States in the war effort. Then, many were too young to vote. This year they voted.