Wow. Oh wow. Big news in the Mexican presidential race.
Courtesy of Ganchoblog, it seems that the Mexican presidential blowout that we all expected for Enrique Peña Nieto may not actually happen. The Reforma newspaper runs reputable polls, and they show a sudden collapse in PRI presidential support from 42% to 38%, with AMLO rising from 27% to 34%. Now, I remember drinking pulque (horrible stuff, by the way) with some friends in Melchor Ocampo (awful town, I should add, although worth visiting) and being told that the polls meant nothing, AMLO could pull it out. I scoffed. Distant relatives in Huixquilucan (a very much not-awful town, at least if you like bad science fiction movies from the 1970s, but really not worth visiting unless you know somebody who lives there) said the same. But they were PRD partisans, and so I scoffed some more.
But they were all correct! If this poll holds, then the electoral game is on. We will have a real race on our hands, and not a PRI blowout. Both Melchor Ocampo and Huixquilucan are in Mexico State and under the Peña governorship. I think that gave my friends tacit knowledge about the fragility of his support that nerdy old gringo me could not appreciate. I think Mr. Hootsen, who also lives in Mexico State, would concur.
Were I voting in the election, a poll like this would pose a dilemma. I despise AMLO for his actions after the 2006 election. But I suspect, for reasons I find distressingly hard to verbalize, that he would be less damaging to Mexico than a President Peña. Which means that strategically speaking, if AMLO had a chance, I would want to cast a strategic vote for him. Except ... his behavior and statements in 2006. The questions raised by the commentators here are becoming much more valid. Assuming that the poll holds and we really do have a race, for whom should a concerned Mexican citizen vote?
I would like to end with a call for someone to start a blog like Fivethirtyeight, aimed at the Mexican elections. So far, the Reforma poll is an outlier. We have no way of judging its accuracy or predicting the result. Mexico could use a Fivethirtyeight. I nominate Diego Valle to start it.