Doubts are emerging about President Peña Nieto’s ability to keep control of the succession process, given the abysmal polling of the potential PRI candidates for the 2018 presidential election.
Until now, almost all have assumed that EPN would pick his successor using the “dedazo,” the big finger, that PRI presidents in the pre-democratic era exercised to indicate their successor. Indeed, EPN has maintained iron control of gubernatorial nominations through his term.
An anonymous PRI official told columnist Salvador García Soto,
We have to tell President Peña that the method for picking gubernatorial candidates until now won’t work to solve the succession issue inside the PRI. The president needs to innovate, open the process, and let many aspirants run in an open manner to help the PRI reposition itself in an adverse environment in which the other parties and candidates have big advantages.
According to García Soto, Presidencia’s last internal poll shows that all the potential PRI candidates finish a distant third against AMLO and any PAN candidate. The best positioned of the PRIistas is Health Secretary José Narro. In a trial ballot, Narro captures 19% of the vote, AMLO 29.6%, and Margarita Zavala of the PAN 24.3%.
These PRI dissidents are promoting the idea that the PRI National Assembly, scheduled to meet at the beginning of August, should decide the methods for selecting candidates for the 2018 races.
While AMLO has been using his visits to Mexican communities in the U.S. to portray a statesman-like image, he was effectively derailed by protesters in Queens, New York on Monday. Supporters and family members of the 43 students killed in Iguala in 2014 interrupted a town-hall type meeting, accusing AMLO (correctly) of close ties with the then mayor of Iguala and then governor of Guerrero at the time. (Both politicians were members of the PRD, and were politically backed by AMLO and his supporters.) In the face of the disruption, AMLO cancelled the rest of the Queens event; much of the rest of his agenda in NYC and Washington was hit by winter storm “Stella.” The images of the protesters shutting AMLO down is about the only impact his visit had in Mexico.
A new Reforma poll shows the three principal contenders for Governor of the State of Mexico to be essentially tied, not including the 26% of those surveyed who are undecided.
79% say they prefer a change of governing party (the PRI has never lost control of the state), and 41% say they would never vote for the PRI — compared to 14% and 8% rejecting Morena and the PAN, respectively.
On the other hand, some 53% approve the performance of the outgoing PRI governor, Eruviel Ávila.
PRI candidate Del Mazo scores highest on the positive attribute of experience (31%) while Delfina Gómez of Morena scores highest on ‘closeness to the people’ (23%). Del Mazo also scores highest on the negative attributes of ‘steal more'(36%) and ‘govern for the powerful (40%).
In a major boost to Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s consolidation of his control over Mexico’s political Left, the leader of the PRD in the Senate, Miguel Barbosa, endorsed AMLO for president. (The PRD Central Committee demanded Barbosa’s resignation, but he has so far refused.) Columnist José Rubenstein notes that the PRD is disintegrating. The party’s parliamentary group had 22 Senate seats at the beginning of 2016, and defections have reduced the number to 12. And if Barbosa and his allies leave, the PRD would be down to seven senators.
Posted in Elections, Parties
Given the very high negatives of the PRI names that have been most discussed as presidential candidates for 2018, José Narro, the current Secretary of Health and former rector of the national university UNAM, is being floated as a potential alternative.
Columnist Jorge Zepeda Patterson writes:
Certainly, Narro is not part of the inner circle, but he has an unbeatable virtue. He is the most popular cabinet member in 2017. He is the only one who is not identified with the governing faction and the corrupt practices associated with them. And this is pure gold for the upcoming election struggle. His name has also been mentioned in the informal list of possible citizen candidates.
Dr. Narro’s major liability is age. He will be 70 next year — but he is younger than Trump. While he is not viewed as a typical politico — he is a surgeon by training, and well respected by intellectuals — his roots in the PRI are deep. He at one time headed the PRI’s think tank, Siglo XXI, and has been Undersecretary in both the Government Ministry and the Health Ministry in previous governments.
The principal candidates for the June 3, 2017 gubernatorial election in the State of Mexico – the home of President Peña Nieto – were ratified by their respective parties:
- PRI: Alfredo del Mazo, son of a former governor and EPN cousin, and currently a federal deputy;
- PAN: Josefina Vasquez Mota, the party’s presidential candidate in 2012 and former cabinet minister;.
- Morena: Delfina Gómez, a long-time teacher who served as mayor of Texcoco from 2012-2015 and federal deputy.
(The other major party, the PRD, cancelled an internal election and is yet to announce a candidate. The PRD has been hurt by massive defections to Morena, and will not be competitive.)
The State of Mexico election promises to bring the full weight of the national political parties to bear and set the scene for the 2018 presidential and congressional elections. The results, besides determining control of Mexico’s most populous state, will have a major influence on national party politics and the selection of the presidential candidates.
For the first time, a major poll showed Morena — the party of Andrés Manuel López Obrador — rising to the top spot in preferences for the 2018 presidential election.
The Reforma poll gave Morena 27%, up 5% since December. (The poll results are adjusted for the 25% of respondents who didn’t answer or had no preference.)
Q: “If the Presidential election were today, for which party would you vote for President?”