Arriola, Barrales and Sheinbaum are the leading candidates for Mexico City mayor. Arriola, Barrales and Sheinbaum are the leading candidates for Mexico City mayor.

Election campaigns in full swing in nine states that will elect governors

Mexico's largest election ever is now under way

Election campaigns in nine Mexican states that will elect governors on July 1 are now in full swing after four of them officially began their campaign periods yesterday.

Candidates in Chiapas, Morelos, Puebla and Veracruz have joined their counterparts in Mexico City, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Tabasco and Yucatán on the campaign trail for what will collectively be Mexico’s largest elections in history.

In total, 49 hopefuls will contend the races for governor in eight states and that of head of government — or mayor — in Mexico City.

The presidency, 500 seats in the lower house of Mexico’s Congress and 128 federal Senate spots are also up for grabs as are thousands more elected positions at state and municipal levels.

According to the National Electoral Institute (INE), more than 89.2 million residents of Mexico will be eligible to vote while more than 100,000 Mexicans living abroad have also registered their intention to take part in the elections.

In the nine states where elections will take place concurrently with the federal poll, voters will have to fill in up to six ballots given the range of state and federal candidates they will elect.

In three states, citizens will have the opportunity to vote for a close family member of a current or past state governor.

Candidates in Veracruz and Morelos hope to succeed their father and step-father respectively — who currently hold the states’ top jobs — while in Puebla, Martha Erika Alonso is aspiring to follow in the footsteps of her husband and former governor Rafael Moreno Valle.

In the contest to become the next mayor of the capital — sometimes considered the second most important and powerful political position in the country — the candidate for the Morena Party-led “Together We Will Make History” coalition appears most likely to win.

A survey conducted by Massive Caller showed that more than 40% of people who saw the first Mexico City mayoral debate on April 18 considered Claudia Sheinbaum the winner and opinion polls have indicated that she has a clear advantage over her main rivals.

Alejandra Barrales of the right-left coalition “For Mexico City in Front” is Sheinbaum’s nearest rival, while Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Mikel Arriola is lagging in third place.

The situation mirrors the scenario at the federal level, with polls consistently showing that Andrés Manuel López Obrador has a commanding lead over second-placed Ricardo Anaya and the PRI candidate, José Antonio Meade.

If the voter sentiment shown in polls is reflected in the July 1 election, the leftist Morena party will win power both federally and in Mexico City and possibly in some of the other nine states where it is fielding gubernatorial candidates.

With just over two months until election day, political advertising that is already bombarding the nation’s television screens, radio stations and other media will only intensify.

By the time citizens vote at one of more than 155,000 polling stations around the country, countless millions of political ads will have played.

Voters will finally get some peace on June 27 when the official campaign period concludes, giving them four days to weigh their options while free from the candidates’ public pleas for support.

Source: Milenio (sp), Forbes México (sp)

Reader forum