Narrow advantage for Morena in last poll before Mexico State vote

A new Economista/Mitofsky poll for the Mexico State gubernatorial race shows Morena candidate Delfina Gómez with a slim lead over the PRI-ista Alfredo Del Mazo.  The campaigns end this coming Wednesday, and the vote is on Sunday, June 4.

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 9.26.07 PMThe poll was carried out from May 25-27, and gives Gómez a 3.5% lead over Del Mazo.  According to Mitofsky, Del Mazo peaked at the beginning of May and has been losing ground, with the Morena candidate being the main beneficiary.  The other two main candidates, Josefina Vázquez of the PAN and Juan Zepeda of the PRD have held steady The 1,000 person poll has a statistical margin of error of ±3.1%.

The poll probably does not reflect the May 26 announcement by the PT candidate Óscar González, who is polling at 2%, withdrawing and asking his supporters to back Gómez.

Other recent polls have shown Del Mazo with a lead, and most observers think the determining factor will be voter turnout, which has historically been 50% or less for gubernatorial elections in the state.

Award-winning crime journalist murdered

Javier ValdezJavier Váldez became the sixth Mexican crime reporter to be murdered this year.  The founder of the weekly Ríodoce was shot dead around midday as he was driving in downtown Culiacán, Sinaloa.  Váldez’s body was left in the street, after his car was intercepted by a Toyota Corolla filled with gunmen, according to news reports.

In 2011, the Committee to Project Journalists awarded Váldez the International Press Freedom Award. He was also a regular columnist for other media, and well known to international reporters for aiding them in understanding the drug wars.   As Javier Lafuente of El Pais writes:

The blow to journalism–to Mexican society–is terrible, even more so in the face of the noisy, entrenched impunity and the silence of institutions.  There have been no arrests for the six journalists assassinated this year.  The reaction to the five deaths before Váldez has been to designate a prosecutor for crimes against freedom of expression, a measure that seems derisory given the magnitude of the tragedy.

Earlier in May, the Committee to Project Journalists published a special report, No Excuse: Mexico must break cycle of impunity in journalists’ murders.

 

Jorge Castañeda abandons quest as independent candidate for President; endorses Senator Armando Ríos Piter

Jorge Castañeda, one of Mexico’s leading public policy intellectuals and Foreign Minister under Vicente Fox, wrote today that he was giving up his long-time quest to run as an independent candidate for President.  And he threw his support to independent Senator Armando Ríos Piter, who resigned from the PRD and declared his candidacy in February.

Comparing the political situation in Mexico to that of France, Castañeda wrote in his column that while the objective conditions in Mexico were even more favorable than in France for a fresh political voice to triumph, the electoral system made it very unlikely, especially with a multiplicity of potential independent candidates.  To have a chance of unseating the discredited partidocracy, voters would have to rally around a single independent candidate:

After more than a year of considerable effort, it is evident to me that … this unity candidate will not be me.  However, I believe there are others who can meet the requirements:  of freshness, a breadth of support, an ability to get people out.  One in particular:  El Jaguar, [Armando] Ríos Piter can count on my total support, in this fight that has barely begun.

Castañeda was personally the major force in making independent candidacies possible in Mexico.  In 2004, he started a political and legal challenge to the electoral laws that gave registered political parties exclusive right to name candidates for office.  His case went to the Mexican Supreme Court, where he lost.  He appealed to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, where ultimately he was again turned down, in appeals that lasted into 2013. However, while the case was pending, Congress approved independent candidates in the 2007 electoral reform.  (And in 2015, the voters of Nuevo León elected Jaime Rodríguez, El Bronco, governor — the first independent to win a major political office.)

State of Mexico election still wide open

A new poll by El Universal gives PRI candidate Alfredo del Mazo a narrow lead over Morena candidate Delfina Gómez in the race of State of Mexico governor.  PAN candidate Josefina Vázquez has slipped to fourth place — after a poor debate performance on April 25 and a lackluster campaign — while Juan Zepeda of the PRD is now in third.  Most surprisingly, however, the share of voters who are undecided rose from 31% in April to 38% in May.  The election is on June 4, and the second and last candidate debate is tomorrow night.

El Universal Poll, May 8Of the candidates, Zepeda has the highest favorability rating (+37%), while Del Mazo has the highest disapproval rating (-43%).

The survey also shows that while 46% approve the performance of current PRI Governor Eruviel Ávila (vs. 41% disapproval) , 7 in 10 would like to see a change in the party controlling the state.

 

Negotiating NAFTA

Morena and PRI candidates tied in Mexico State

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 4.51.37 PMOn the eve of the first debate between the candidates, a new Reforma poll published today showed that Delfina Gómez (Morena) and Alfredo del Mazo (PRI) continue to be tied for the lead in the Mexico State gubernatorial election, with 28-29% of the vote each.  Josefina Vázquez (PAN) has slipped to 22%, while Juan Zepeda (PRD) has risen slightly to 14%.  (The published results are adjusted for the 29% who are undecided.)

Gómez also leads del Mazo in almost all other indicators (“more trustworthy”, “closer to the people”, etc.), except in the category experience, where del Mazo is ahead.  The Morena candidate has a much stronger favorability rating — 27% favorable vs 15% unfavorable.  Only 20% of those polled view del Mazo favorably, while 37% see him unfavorably.

All five regular party candidates for Governor will participate in tonight’s 90-minute televised debate. One of the two independents (Castell) may join, while the registration of the other (Pastor) was suspended after legal challenges.

 

 

 

Morena candidate caught on video receiving cash donation to give to AMLO

El Universal today published a short video of Eva Cadena, the Morena candidate for mayor of Las Choapas in Veracruz state, receiving Ps. 500,000 in cash from an unidentified person off camera with the instruction to give it to López Obrador.  Ms. Cadena accepts the cash and promises to deliver it.  The video was apparently made on April 6, and AMLO appeared with Cadena on April 8 to launch her campaign.

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 10.09.41 PMThe person giving Cadena the cash says that she is being given the cash to pass on to AMLO because he “is very fond of you and has absolute trust in you.”  Cadena’s only request is to be given something in which to put the money.  (She is given a large manila envelope.)

This afternoon, Cadena resigned her candidacy for mayor of Las Choapas, a town of 83,000 people in the oil belt.  In a radio interview, she reportedly said, “I recognize the error I made in having this meeting. … I was set up, [and] I will put myself at the disposition of the party.  I made a mistake, and I take responsibility.”  In a statement, she also said that when she was told that cash campaign donations were not legal, she returned the money.

López Obrador reacted immediately with a YouTube video saying “the Mafia in power is full of fear of Morena; Salinas, Peña, Fox, Calderón and their flunkies are trying to destroy us politically in this dirty war,” but that, “we’ve always emerged unwounded from slanders.  Our shield is our honesty.”

The video does have the feel of a frame-up, but it unleashed a wave of denunciations from all the other parties directed at AMLO and Morena.