Where will Mexico’s 2018 Presidential Race be Won?

By Elliot Bullman

One of the criticisms that Andrés Manuel López Obrador has issued to his adversaries, José Antonio Meade and Ricardo Anaya, is that they do not visit the towns and therefore do not know the country and its people.

The old adage says that by nature politics is local. In 1990, still 28.7 percent lived in localities of less than two thousand 500 inhabitants. Today, that percentage dropped to 22.2 percent. And, in fact, 62.5 percent live in towns of more than 15 thousand inhabitants.

Portada presidenciales

The reality is that federal elections, increasingly to a greater extent, are decided by the results of the entities in which the nominal list of voters is greater. If you take the first 10 entities, you have approximately 68 percent of the total number of voters in the country.

And if you take the first five, you have about 47 percent of the total. These are the State of Mexico, Mexico City, Veracruz, Jalisco and Puebla.

What happened to the results of the last presidential elections in this group of entities?

If we analyse solely this group of five entities, the advantage in 2012 was for Peña, but only with a difference of 62 thousand votes with respect to AMLO.

All parties are aware of the segment of voters known as ”Switchers” who represent 54% of the electorate and their vote will define who will become the next president of Mexico. Switchers are the voters who have not defined their vote with absolute security and firmness. They look towards two or more electoral options, the one that best satisfies their needs and aspirations.

José Antonio Meade's campaign strategy will likely be to try to strengthen his position in entities that are clearly favourable to the PRI and reduce the disadvantage in others that will surely vote for AMLO, such as Mexico City.

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AMLO's strategy would be to seek to broaden the difference in Mexico City, which is its largest quarry of votes ... even if it claims that it likes to walk in the 'towns'.

And Ricardo Anaya will try to obtain advantage in entities in which the PAN or the PRD have strength, such as Guanajuato, Puebla and Veracruz.

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In the elections of 2018 it will be indispensable for the candidates to operate at a micro scale, and try to strengthen their triumphs where they perceive potential.

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