OPINION: Mexico’s Presidential Election: AMLO Dominates the Polls; and What About Congress?

Mexico’s presidential election is scheduled for July 1st, just weeks away.  And frontrunner candidate AMLO (Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador) is burning up the polls, having now passed the significant 50% mark.

REFORMA POLL: On May 30th, the Dallas Morning News reported the results of a Reforma poll (co-sponsors: Dallas Morning News and University of North Texas-Dallas), based on polling taken from May 24 to May 27th.

The results:

ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, candidate of the Juntos Haremos Historia (Together we will make History) coalition (MORENA, PT and PES), had a whopping 52% of the vote, a majority.

RICARDO ANAYA CORTES, of the Por México al Frente (For Mexico to the Front) coalition (PAN, PRD, MC), had 26% of the vote.

That means the poll not only gave AMLO a majority of the total vote, but too that AMLO had twice the vote for Ricardo Anaya.  That’s impressive.

Moving on to the two remaining candidates:

JOSE ANTONIO MEADE KURIBREÑA, of the Todos por México (Everybody for Mexico) coalition (PRI, PVEM, PANAL), had 19% of the vote.

JAIME HELIODORO RODRIGUEZ CALDERON, better known as “El Bronco,” an independent candidate who is not running as part of a political party, had 3% of the vote.

Also, 17% of the poll’s respondents were undecided and didn’t select a candidate.  If the gap between AMLO and Anaya were less than 17 points, that would be good news for Anaya, but as he was trailing by 26%, that doesn’t look good.

Of course, it’s not over, something else could still occur, but it doesn’t look good for AMLO’s opponents.

Carlos Bravo Regidor (analyst and associate professor at CIDE, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas), says that “Unless there is something really heroic, tragic or absolutely imponderable…, this race is indeed as over as it can be.  In general, AMLO’s advantage is too big and seems too consolidated. The other candidates have not been able to connect with a majority.”

Not only that, but even if Meade of the PRI-led coalition bowed out in favor of Anaya (not likely), and even if Bronco did the same, that would only give such a hypothetical anti-AMLO coalition 48% of the vote, versus AMLO’s 52%.  So, it looks good for AMLO.

Nevertheless, that’s not the only poll.

GEA-ISA POLL: There is the GEA-ISA poll, surveyed from May 25th to May 27th and published June 5th by Forbes Mexico.  (GEA stands for Grupo de Economistas y Asociados, and ISA stands for Investigaciones Sociales Aplicadas.)

In that poll, 37% of the respondents go for AMLO, 23% for Anaya, 17% for Meade, and 3% for Bronco.

The total for the candidates comes to 80%. The other 20% were undecided.  So, the only way to beat AMLO on that one would be, hypothetically, get all the undecideds to vote for Anaya, giving him 43%.  It’s very unlikely, however, that all the undecided voters would go for Anaya.

And, as pointed out two days later, also on Forbes Mexico, if you exclude the undecideds on that GEA-ISA poll, that gives AMLO 46% of the decided voters and 29% of the decided voters for Anaya.

Plus, and this is important, you must look at the direction of the vote.  That late May GEA-ISA poll gave AMLO 37% of the raw vote.  Well, a month earlier that same poll gave AMLO 29% of the raw vote, an increase of 8 points.

FINANCIERO POLL: Then there is the Financiero poll, surveyed May 24th to May 28th and published June 4th .  Here are the results of that poll: AMLO 50%, Anaya 24%, Meade 22%.

CONGRESS: Although it doesn’t get near as much publicity, Mexico also has a congressional election on July 1st.  Every seat in both houses of the Mexican Congress is up for grabs.  That’s 128 seats in the Senate, and 500 in the Chamber of Deputies.  And this time, re-election in Congress is allowed.

Traditionally, Mexicans don’t pay much attention to Congress. Most Mexican citizens cannot even tell you who are their senators and representatives.

But the composition of Congress would be very important in a likely AMLO presidency, determining how much of his agenda he could enact.  Both AMLO’s supporters and his opponents should care about this issue.

As well, there are polls relating to the congressional election.  What they show is that AMLO’s MORENA party also looks to do well in the congressional election.

In the GEA-ISA poll, respondents were asked which party they would vote for in the Chamber of Deputies (U.S. House of Representatives equivalent).  The results were: MORENA 27%, PAN 20% and PRI 16%.

 In the Financiero poll, for the Chamber of Deputies, MORENA had 44%.

In the Reforma Poll on the Chamber of Deputies, AMLO’s MORENA party got a whopping 42%, the PAN (Anaya’s party) got 20%, the PRI 18%.

Then there is the Mitofsky Poll.  In the Wilson Center’s Election Monitor Miguel Toro wrote, in the May 30th entry, “The other topic heavily discussed over the last couple of days is the strength of AMLO’s campaign and the real possibility that he will control both Chambers of Congress. A Consulta Mitofsky poll released on May 24th, showed that in their estimates for both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, AMLO’s coalition is not only prone to be the biggest in Congress, but also possibly having absolute majority (50%+1 of all seats) and the PRI in their historic lows. According to the poll, AMLO’s coalition comprised of MORENA, the Labour Party (PT) and the Evangelical Social Encounter Party (PES) could get up to 71 out of 128 Senators and 288 out of 500 Deputies. Meanwhile, the PRI who is currently the biggest party in Congress, would plummet to a maximum of 22 (out of 128) Senators and 62 (out of 500) Deputies.”

That would be a real political earthquake.

AMLO’s strategy would be to keep up the momentum hoping that, as it appears, the support for AMLO translates to support for MORENA and other coalition candidates.

As for the anti-AMLO parties, if they want to mitigate his presidential power in the likely eventuality of an AMLO triumph, these parties ought to be paying more attention to, and directing more resources to, congressional races.

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By Allan Wall

Allan Wall writes regularly for The Yucatan Times.

 

 

 

Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years.  His website is located at http://www.allanwall.info.





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