The panorama of Mexico 40 days before the elections

After the second presidential debate, candidates will use all their tools towards a historic election

The panorama of Mexico 40 days before the elections

In Mexico, the second of the three presidential debates planned by the National Electoral Institute (INE) has been held. With a new format in the country, the candidates have had a more open debate and with a public present for the first time, who asked some questions to the politicians. Polls have not moved much since the first presidential debate. The candidate of the Juntos Haremos Historia coalition, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, continues as leader, followed by Ricardo Anaya from Por México al Frente, the ruling party's candidate José Antonio Meade from Todos por México and the independent Jaime Rodríguez Calderón.

Leer en español: El panorama de México a 40 días de las elecciones

This second debate was held in Tijuana, a historic city due to its links with the United States, its ups and downs of insecurity, its migration problems, drug trafficking, and its economic and cultural importance. The topic was Mexico in the world, an opportunity for the candidates to present their proposals on the protection of Mexican migrants in the United States and migrants from other countries who arrive or transit through Mexico. In addition, it was important this time that they talked about their relationship with the United States and in particular with Donald Trump. This is due to the fact that it is a complicated time for the country, with the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and with the recent statements of the US president, who referred to migrants as animals.

The first debate left López Obrador bad standing, who evaded all the questions and tried to go unnoticed, which cost him harsh criticism from analysts and opponents. Due to this, he was expected to fall in the polls in favor of Ricardo Anaya. However, the candidate remained in most of the polls. Even in some he increased his percentage, as in the newspaper El Financiero that put him in first place with 46%, 20 points above Anaya.

In the end, López Obrador's strategy worked, because he managed to maintain his advantage, although Ricardo Anaya managed to gain a second competitive place at the expense of Meade, the government's candidate. Although the contest has been closed to two candidates, José Antonio Meade relaunched his campaign a few days ago in order to avoid a catastrophe for his party. Moreover, a few days before the second debate the only woman who aspired to the presidency, former first lady Margarita Zavala, resigned her candidacy without declining in favor of any of the other candidates. This gave a break to Ricardo Anaya, who hopes to integrate her into his campaign and win the preferences that Zavala had.

Since the pre-campaigns, López Obrador has been up. Now the question is whether he will continue with this advantage or if Ricardo Anaya can reach it. The previous experiences of the three-time candidate have taught him that he can not be trusted, especially in the last part of the campaigns. There is still a debate in the city of Mérida, in the south of the country, where the leader can strengthen his position or give space to Anaya to defeat him. At 40 days of the election everything points to a historical scenario for Mexico with an eventual victory of Lopez Obrador, taking into account that the polls give the advantage to the Juntos Haremos Historia candidate on his opponents. However, nothing is certain until the votes are in the polls.

Latin American Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

Translated from "El panorama en México a 40 días de las elecciones"

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