Political Thermometer

Everything is almost ready for the upcoming gubernatorial election in the State of Mexico. The only pending issue is whether the National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional or PAN) and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolución Democrática or PRD) will form an alliance to run against the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional or PRI), which itself has entered into separate alliances with the Ecological Green Party (Partido Verde Ecologista de México) and the Party of the New Alliance (Partido Nueva Alianza or PANAL). After much speculation, the PRI has designated its candidate. The PRI showed that it has learned the lessons from the states of Oaxaca, Puebla, Sinaloa and Guerrero, where PRI candidates who were not totally accepted by the party suffered defeats at the hands of candidates put forth by the PAN and PRD alliance, when the candidates of the PRI were not nominated by the party itself. The same was about to happen in the State of Mexico, as all signs indicated that the PRI candidate to run for governor of the State of Mexico would be Alfredo del Mazo III, as the PAN and PRD had, respectively, been mentioning. Alfredo del Mazo, mayor of Huixquilucan, is the son and grandson of two PRI Governors from the same state who also shared the same name. In the end, the candidacy of Eruviel Avila, mayor of Ecatepec, was put forward. It has been said that the selection represents a triumph for the culture of hard work (Eruviel) and not that of privilege (del Mazo). If Eruviel Avila had not been selected by the PRI, it is highly likely that he would have been the candidate of a PAN/PRD alliance. Now, the PAN/PRD alliance in the State of Mexico seems to be at a breaking point. The strongest PRD prospective candidate, Alejandro Encinas, has stated that he will not accept an alliance with the PAN, a party he says is opposed to his political and ideological convictions. For its part, the main PAN prospective candidate, Luis Felipe Bravo Mena, likely does not have the necessary support to contend against two strong candidates such as Avila and Encinas. Everything turned out well for the current Governor of the State of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, who is seeing in this election how his candidacy for the presidency of the Mexican Republic may play out. For now, political polls continue to show the PRI in the lead. If the presidential election were held today, 33% of those polled would vote for the PRI, 22% for the PAN and 12% for the PRD. According to a poll published in the Reforma newspaper, if names are attached to the contending parties, Enrique Peña Nieto would garner 71% of the vote and win the presidency. Fidel Herrera, ex-governor of Veracruz, has 10% support and Manlio Fabio Beltrones, just under 7%. Among PRD supporters polled, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has more than 75% support. The head of government in the Federal District, Marcelo Ebrard, is far behind with 18%. Among PAN sympathizers, Santiago Creel has 25% support, followed by Josefina Vazquez Mota with 14% and Manuel Espino with 9%. Non-PRI supporters are betting everything on the defeat of Peña Nieto in the upcoming election in the state he currently governs. A victory by the PRI in the most economically, socially and politically important state in Mexico would pave the way for his candidacy in 2012. One thing is clear; the political thermometer can suddenly rise, but it can also fall amid stormy conditions.

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