The results of a recent polling expedition to identify the next president of Haiti shows notary Jean-Henry Céant favored by nearly three of four (72 percent) of respondents, according to a press release issued by Washington, D.C.-based National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians. Michel Martelly (Sweet Mickey) was also mentioned as a preferred choice of those interviewed.

The four-day polling research tour, conducted from Nov. 11-14, included both focus groups and in-depth interviews. Most of the interviews were conducted in four of the largest campsites in and around the capital city where nearly 600,000 residents remain since the earthquake on Jan. 12.

According to pollster Shawnta Walcott, the race is far from over although Céant is the early frontrunner. “In terms of outcomes, there will be no first round knockouts here. You can bet on a highly contested second-round showing. While the race is still too close to call, Céant appears to be the candidate gaining the most momentum,” said Walcott, former director of communications for Zogby International. “He’s backed by key members of former President Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas Party; highly favored by Catholics, Protestants and Voudonists; gained the support of peasant movement leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste (which proved to be a significant asset for René Préval in 1996) attracted crowds of over 50,000 spectators to rallies in the North.”

Walcott, who led Haiti’s first published presidential poll in 2005, added, “As for other polls showing drastically different results in Port-au-Prince, I can only assume that they aren’t speaking to the folks on the ground.”