Del Mazo and Gómez: a close race. Del Mazo and Gómez: a close race.

PRI leading Morena in State of México vote

But the margin is only about 3% in the state's election for governor

The nearly 90-year hold of the Institutional Revolutionary Party on the State of México appears to have been given another six years after voters gave a narrow victory to the party’s candidate for governor, Alfredo del Mazo.


But the race is close, as polls had predicted.

As of 9:00am, with 97.8% of the votes counted, the PRI was leading with 33.7% of the vote, followed closely by Delfina Gómez of the leftist party Morena with 30.8%.

Well behind were Juan Zepeda of the Democratic Revolution Party, with 17.7%, and the National Action Party’s Josefina Vázquez Mota with just 11.2%.

The State of México election is seen as a bellwether for next year’s presidential election.

Official results of the vote are not expected until Wednesday.

One political analyst said a victory for Del Mazo would be “pyrrhic.”

Raymundo Riva Palacio told Reuters the results indicate “an enormous discontent with the PRI” and could represent a bad scenario for the party given the power of its political machine and the fact that Gómez was virtually unknown eight months ago.

Her party, whose full name is the National Regeneration Movement, didn’t even exist at the time of the state’s last election for governor six years ago.

The current governor, Eruviel Ávila, won that election with 64% of the vote, while his predecessor, President Enrique Peña Nieto, won with 47.5%. This year’s results are the closest ever seen in a State of México election.

Source: Milenio (sp), Animal Político (sp), Reuters (en)

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  • cooncats

    It may be close but the party of corruption still wins. Too bad that Morena and the PRD divided their vote and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    That will probably be the outcome next year as well.

  • Güerito

    These results will formally be contested in the appropriate tribunals. This is an abundance of evidence of PRI irregularities before election day. And there are serious questions about the reliability of the vote count.

    But the larger problem exposed here is the lack of runoff elections in Mexico.

    The problem is that the anti-PRI vote is divided between several parties. In a runoff election, PRI would lose 60-40 or by an even wider margin. (I realize that some PAN and PRD voters would vote for PRI, but I think they would be a small minority)

    In 2018 there could be several significant independents running for President, allowing a candidate to win with less than 30% of the vote. Mexico needs runoff elections.

    High levels of corruption and impunity weaken the legitimacy of the Mexican political system. Candidates winning with 30% of the vote only make things worse.

    • csb4546

      Exactly – too many candidates, no majorities, no mandates.
      But given the levels of political corruption countrywide, how does the ruling Party get ANY votes?

      • Güerito

        I posted this in reply to a comment a couple months ago:

        “But why do Mexicans still vote for PRI now, with all the evidence of corruption in the party?

        First, for many (mostly older) Mexicans, PRI is the only party their parents and grandparents ever voted for. For many of these people the party is synonymous with Mexico. The PRI party colors are red, green and white, the colors of the Mexican flag. PAN was left with light blue and white, and PRD with yellow and black. PRI is often referred to as “el tri” (for three colors) as is the national soccer team when it plays in international competitions. In the last couple rounds of state elections it was common to hear voters say, “we’ve always voted PRI and we’ll keep voting that way even if we know they’re all corrupt and our state is going to hell.”

        Second, PRI has a giant structure in place on the ground election day, allowing the party to tap into the state clientelism system built up over the last century. This includes many unions, business organizations and the media. There are millions of Mexicans whose jobs depend on these economic relations. And, if that’s not enough, PRI dominance at the state and local level throughout much of the country allows for a lot of vote buying and fraud.

        Third, the Mexican electoral system has no runoffs. The candidate who gets the most votes wins. There’s no threshold of 50%, 40% or even 30%, without which a runoff results. When there were three major parties a few years ago, the winner would often get less than 40% of the vote. Now, with a few more parties added to the mix, including Morena – which is currently polling third nationally – and independents, we see winners getting less than 30% of the vote.

        Most commentators agree that, based on the first two points above, PRI enjoys a floor of about 25% of the national vote. When you add in 3-5% of the vote from the even more corrupt “Green” party, now a permanent coalition partner with PRI, you can see how PRI can continue to win despite historic and notorious levels of corruption.

        But real party competition in Mexico is a relatively recent phenomenon, and things may be changing. PRI did very poorly in the 2015 and 2016 state elections. These were the first elections where voters were allowed to reconsider the support they gave back to PRI at the national level in 2012. In those two election cycles, PRI lost several state governships they had always held. Veracruz and Chihuahua were two of those states, where the former governors are now wanted fugitives. It’s possible the same could happen in June, with Governors races in the State of Mexico and Coahuila. Younger voters not so tied to PRI and the rise of social media are helping.”

        • Güerito

          It’s also important to emphasize that PRI’s vote total in Mexico state fell nearly 50% from what the party received in the 2011 governor’s race. The current PRI governor received 62% of the vote that year. The 30 points lost went to Morena, since PRD and PAN got about the same in 2017 as 2011.

  • Güerito

    Cracks in the Fortress: Elections in the State of Mexico on Sunday revealed the growing power of the Mexican Left — and the lengths to which the ruling party will go to repress it.

    “Despite declarations that Peña Nieto and del Mazo represent a “new PRI” — rather than the so-called dinosaurs of Mexico’s soft-authoritarian past, they insist — the voting process demonstrated the extent to which the party’s corrupt electoral machine remains deeply entrenched, making free and fair elections in the state incredibly difficult.”

  • delmaracer

    Hmmm, with the sordid past of the PRI, one wonders how they bought this election.

  • gypsyken

    Obviously, the U.S. isn’t the only country in which a minority of uninformed voters (otherwise known as “deplorables”) can win an election.