Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard and Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum are the leading contenders to become the ruling party’s candidate in the next presidential election, a new poll indicates.
The polling company Massive Caller asked 2,000 people to offer an opinion about who could best defend the legacy of President López Obrador.
Ebrard, a former Mexico City mayor and a minister in López Obrador’s 2000-2005 government in the capital, was chosen by 39.3% of respondents.
Sheinbaum, who was environment minister in Mexico City when López Obrador was mayor, finished a close second among 36.7% of those polled.
Morena party national president Mario Delgado, who garnered the support of 9.3% of respondents, was the third most popular choice among the five offered. Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier and Morena’s leader in the Senate, Ricardo Monreal, garnered the support of 8.4% and 6.3% of respondents, respectively.
A graph published by Massive Caller shows that support for Ebrard has fallen 6.7% from 46% at the start of the year while Sheinbaum’s backing has increased 7.7% from 29% on January 2.
José Fernández Santillán, a political science professor at the Tec de Monterrey university, told media organization Grupo Cantón that López Obrador could trust both Ebrard and Sheinbaum to defend his legacy but predicted that he would ultimately choose the latter as his successor.
Citing an unnamed “old-fashioned politician with a lot of experience,” Fernández said that political power shouldn’t be bequeathed to one’s contemporaries or “siblings” but rather to one’s “children.”
“Claudia Sheinbaum is the daughter of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the political daughter,” he said.
The academic said that while Ebrard has served loyally under AMLO, as the president is known, he has his own political views and would be more likely to break with the polices and agenda of the current government. Sheinbaum is one of the so-called “pure” disciples of López Obrador, Fernández said.
If polls show that the foreign affairs minister and the Mexico City mayor are in a “technical draw” insofar as being seen as the best successor to AMLO, the president will “absolutely” opt for Sheinbaum, he said, adding that she is seen as less calculating and “Machiavellian” than Ebrard.
Massive Caller also asked poll respondents to indicate who they believed should lead the opposition to the president’s political agenda.
Ricardo Anaya, the National Action Party (PAN) candidate in the 2018 presidential election and a former lawmaker and PAN national president, was a clear winner with 43.7% of respondents nominating the 41-year-old.
Four other choices were offered to those polled: Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro, who garnered 26.4% support; Senator Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, longtime politician and interior minister in the 2012-2018 federal government, who was nominated by 16.1%; Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral, 9.7%; and businessman and prominent government critic Claudio X. González, 4.1%.
Mario Campos, a political scientist at the Iberoamericana University, said that Anaya is already positioning himself to be a candidate in 2024 but predicted that several other opposition figures will do the same.
One of the possible contenders is former first lady Margarita Zavala, who campaigned for president in 2018 but pulled out of the race before election day. She and her husband, former president Felipe Calderón, formed a new political movement in 2018 but it was denied party status last September due to alleged funding irregularities, a decision upheld by the Federal Electoral Tribunal.