Sunday, February 5, 2012

PAN primary balloting under way

Mexico's National Action Party (PAN) is selecting its 2012 presidential nominee today. As many as 500,000 party regulars will vote for the candidate who they hope will keep PAN in Los Pinos, Mexico's White House, for six more years.

The three candidates vying for the right to be PAN's standard bearer are Josefina Vázquez Mota, Santiago Creel and Ernesto Cordero. The winner will face off against Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), on July 1.

All recent polls suggest that capturing her party's nomination should present little difficulty for the 51 year old Vázquez Mota, a former secretary of education under president Felipe Calderón. Clink on the link below for more details.

In the general race for president, PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto easily dominates the field, at least if those same polls can be trusted. Surveys typically indicate that Peña Nieto enjoys 40-50% support in the three way contest, although his popularity has slipped recently.

PRI dominated Mexican politics for most of the 20th century, controlling both Los Pinos and the majority of senate and congressional seats, as well as most state governorships, for 70 years. But in 2000 a candidate named Vicente Fox forged a new political coalition called the Alliance for Change, composed of National Action Party and Green Ecological Party loyalists. The coalition stunned PRI and delivered Fox a 43% victory on July 2 -- his 58th birthday. Six years later, Felipe Calderón barely snatched the presidency for PAN with an incredibly tight win over PRD's López Obrador. The margin of victory in the 2006 election was 0.58%, making it the closet in Mexican history. Many cried foul, and some still refer to López Obrador as "the legitimate president of Mexico."

This year, PRI is more determined than ever to recapture the office that it controlled for almost three quarters of a century. All of its hopes ride on Enrique Peña Nieto.

PAN promises that initial primary results will be available by about 10:00 p.m. today. They'll be posted here.

PAN primary campaign winds down:

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