Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera is the politician most favored by voters to lead a proposed left wing-right wing coalition in next year’s presidential election, according to results of a new poll.
The Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) has put forward the idea of a coalition with the National Action Party (PAN) that would be known as the Frente Amplio Democrático (FAD), or Broad Democratic Front.
The idea is to field a joint candidate to face off against an as yet unknown candidate from the incumbent Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador of the leftist Morena party.
A national telephone poll conducted by newspaper El Universal between July 6 and 9 surveyed 1,000 people and found that 22.7% of respondents considered that Mancera would be the best option as candidate for the FAD coalition.
Among those who identified as PRD supporters, that number rose to 47.5%.
Mancera, mayor of the capital since 2012, has previously indicated that he was interested in the top job.
Other potential candidates in the mix —albeit some way behind Mancera — included the PRD candidate in June’s Estado de México gubernatorial election, Juan Zepeda, and Héctor Bautista, the leader of the National Democratic Alternative (ADN) movement, a PRD affiliate.
Both received endorsement from 5.9% of respondents.
Michoacán governor Silvano Aureoles and his Morelos counterpart Graco Ramírez were also put forward as possibilities but only by a very small minority of those surveyed, 2.3% and 1.3% respectively.
However, perhaps more telling is that 69% said that they were not aware that a coalition of parties under the FAD name was being formed. And a majority responded either that they didn’t know who the best candidate would be or didn’t answer the question.
When asked their opinion about the formation of a coalition between the two parties, 41% responded that they thought that it was a very good or good idea while 32% said it was very bad or bad.
A further 16% responded that it was neither good nor bad and 10% said that they didn’t know or didn’t respond to the question.
The survey also found that if the election were held at the time it was carried out, Morena would emerge victorious, a result that has been seen in other polls.
The unpopularity of the PRI was clearly evident in the answer to another question.
Asked which party they would never vote for, 49.2% of respondents said it would be the PRI, far ahead of any other party.
Insecurity, corruption, the economic crisis, poor government administration, unemployment and poverty were all identified as problems the nation is facing.
While seemingly unusual, an alliance between the left-wing PRD and the right-wing PAN is not unprecedented.
Antonio Echevarría García contested and won the Nayarit governorship in June under the banner of both parties and the unlikely alliance also had success in Veracruz municipal elections.
The presidential election will be held in July 2018.
Other high-profile candidates for the job so far — either possible or declared — are:
Independents — Nuevo León Governor Jaime Rodríguez, former foreign affairs secretary Jorge Castañeda, traditional healer and indigenous peoples’ representative María de Jesús Patricio Martínez.
Morena — López Obrador.
PAN — ex-first lady Margarita Zavala, wife of former president Felipe Calderón; party president Ricardo Anaya; ex-Puebla governor Rafael Moreno Valle; Guanajuato Governor Miguel Márquez.
PRD — Mexico City Mayor Mancera, Michoacán Governor Aureoles, Morelos Governor Ramírez.
PRI — Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, Finance Secretary José Antonio Meade, Health Secretary José Narro, Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid, ex-Estado de México governor Eruviel Ávila, former Yucatán governor Ivonne Ortega.
There is internal dissent in the PRI at present fueled by concern that the party leadership will impose its own choice of candidate with a hand-picked successor to President Enrique Peña Nieto, a move the so-called rebels warn would kill the party.
One said on the weekend the party is steadily losing support while in contrast Morena has tripled its advances and its growth.
Not only will the PRI lose power, warned Beatriz Pagés, “but we will be reduced to nothing.”