Saturday, May 18, 2024

Morena supporters favor Ebrard over Sheinbaum for president in new poll

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum is no longer the favored successor to President López Obrador among supporters of the ruling Morena party, a new poll found.

The finding suggests that the recent fatal accident on the capital’s Metro system had a negative impact on the reputation of the mayor, who declared last October that she is ready to become Mexico’s first female president.

One-third (33%) of respondents who identified as Morena supporters in an El Financiero newspaper poll nominated Sheinbaum as their preferred candidate at the 2024 presidential election. That’s a decline of eight percentage points compared to the newspaper’s previous poll, which was conducted in December.

The most recent poll was conducted on Jan. 6, 7 and 11, meaning that the Line 3 Metro crash — in which one woman was killed and scores of people were injured — was likely at the forefront of the minds of at least some respondents.

The accident occurred on the morning of Jan. 7.

In the most recent poll, Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard is now the preferred Morena presidential candidate among Morena supporters, with 35% of such respondents nominating him as their first choice. That’s an uptick of one percentage point compared to El Financiero’s previous poll.

Interior Minister Adán Augusto López and Morena Senate leader Ricardo Monreal were nominated as the preferred candidates by 20% and 9% of respondents, respectively.

A selfie of the three politicians outdoors with trees and a multistory building in the background.
Ebrard takes a selfie with Sheinbaum and Interior Minister Adán Augusto López, at the fourth anniversary of the current administration in November. (Twitter @claudiashein)

The views of Morena supporters are especially important as the party will conduct its own survey to decide who its flag bearer will be at the 2024 presidential election.

Sheinbaum’s popularity among all 800 respondents to the El Financiero poll (including all political parties) also dropped, although she remained the preferred Morena presidential candidate. Exactly one-quarter of those polled nominated the mayor as their candidate of choice, a decline of five percentage points compared to the previous poll.

The preferences among all respondents increased for each of Ebrard, López and Monreal, but none made up enough ground to catch Sheinbaum. The foreign minister was two percentage points behind, with 23% of respondents choosing him as their preferred candidate.

The percentage of respondents who said they had a favorable opinion of the Mexico City mayor also dropped five percentage points to 41%. Despite that, Sheinbaum still garnered more favorable opinions than each of her Morena rivals.

Incidents on the capital’s Metro system have tarnished the administration of the mayor, who took office in late 2018. In addition to this month’s accident, an overpass collapse on Line 12 claimed the lives of 26 passengers in May 2021, while a police officer died in a fire in the subway system’s downtown substation in January of the same year.

A majority of respondents (56%) to a separate El Financiero poll conducted in the capital last week described the Mexico City government’s management of the Metro system as “bad” or “very bad.”

Emergency services push through a crowd to extract injured passengers from the crash on gurneys.
The crash on Metro Line 3 earlier this month injured dozens and killed one young woman. (Rogelio Morales Ponce /

The Line 12 disaster is considered a threat to the presidential aspirations of both Sheinbaum and Ebrard — the latter was mayor of Mexico City when the line was built — but they have maintained their status as the leading Morena party contenders, and polls indicate that either would triumph if chosen to run at the 2024 election.

Among the possible opposition candidates, El Financiero’s poll found that former federal tourism minister Enrique de la Madrid is seen as the strongest presidential candidate for the three-party Va por México alliance, which confirmed last week that it would field a common candidate at next year’s election.

Just under one-quarter of respondents — 23% — nominated de la Madrid as the best opposition candidate, while 22% opted for Senator Lilly Téllez.

The other possible opposition candidates who attracted at least 10% support were:

  • Senator Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas (PRI): 15%
  • Deputy Santiago Creel (PAN): 12%
  • Senator Beatriz Paredes Rangel (PRI): 11%
  • Querétaro Governor Mauricio Kuri (PAN): 11%

With reports from El Financiero 

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