PAN party candidate running second in Mexican presidential polling

March 19, 2018 – The Conde Report on US – Mexico Relations and Bloomberg reported last week that Mexican presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya, is polling in second place ahead of the July vote.

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The 39-year-old Anaya has enjoyed a surge in support this year since winning the nomination for the business-friendly PAN party. Polls suggest he’s the strongest mainstream challenger to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist who’s held a clear lead for months.

Anaya’s is promising to go after Pena Nieto and the PRI marking a new contrast with Lopez Obrador, who’s suggested that he would leave any investigations to an independent judiciary if he wins, and talked about forgiveness and reconciliation.

Anaya’s more combative approach could energize voters against a deeply unpopular ruling party — or could mobilize the PRI’s well-oiled machine against him (which may be happening already) in what is increasingly a two-horse race. The candidate from Pena Nieto’s PRI group is currently running a distant third, weighed down by the corruption scandals surrounding the party.

Anaya is presenting himself as the last hope for voters who are both fed up with the incumbent — after numerous corruption scandals dogged the administration — and also fearful of a populist like Lopez Obrador. Yet he’s also found common ground with both. Anaya has praised the PRI government’s NAFTA negotiating team, and said he’d keep some of its members.

The election takes place 1 July 2018, when voters will elect the new president to serve a six-year term, 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies and 128 members of the Senate. The members of the legislature elected on this date will be the first allowed to run for re-election in subsequent elections. Incumbent president Enrique Peña Nieto is not eligible for a second term according to Mexico’s constitution.

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