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With two years to go before presidential elections, the outlook for Morena's potential candidates is favorable. Four years after Morena swept into power and with two years to go before the next presidential elections, the outlook for the ruling party's potential candidates is favorable. Twitter @PartidoMorenaMx

With Sheinbaum or Ebrard, Morena has solid lead over divided opposition for 2024

Sheinbaum has an edge in hypothetical elections, but Ebrard beats her in name recognition

The ruling Morena party will easily win the 2024 presidential election if it nominates either Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum or Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard as its candidate, a new poll suggests.

A national survey conducted for the newspaper El Universal by the polling firm Buendía & Márquez pitted Sheinbaum and Ebrard against potential opposition candidates including federal Deputy Margarita Zavala, a former first lady, and Monterrey Mayor Luis Donaldo Colosio Riojas, son of Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta, who was murdered while campaigning for president in 1994.

One thousand people were asked to nominate who they would vote for in six hypothetical presidential races, with potential candidates representing already established political alliances.

The first scenario pitted Sheinbaum as a Morena/Labor Party (PT)/Green Party (PVEM) candidate against Zavala as a National Action Party (PAN)/Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)/Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) contender and Colosio as a Citizens Movement (MC) party hopeful.

The Mexico City mayor garnered 48% support, exactly double that of Zavala, who appeared on the ballot at the 2018 presidential election as an independent candidate even though she pulled out of the race before polling day. Colosio attracted 19% support from poll respondents, with the remaining 9% saying that they wouldn’t vote for any of the three potential candidates or they didn’t know who they would vote for.

A second hypothetical scenario in which Ebrard replaced Sheinbaum yielded a similar result. The foreign affairs minister, a former Mexico City mayor, attracted 47% support, while Zavala, wife of former PAN president Felipe Calderón, improved one point to 25%. Colosio, who served as a state deputy in Nuevo León before becoming mayor of Monterrey, dropped two points to 17%.

Santiago Creel, a federal deputy with PAN who was interior minister during the 2000-06 presidency of Vicente Fox, replaced Zavala as the PAN/PRI/PRD candidate in the next two hypothetical races. He fared worse than the former first lady, garnering 18% support against Sheinbaum and Colosio and 17% against Ebrard and Colosio.

Support for Sheinbaum, a protegé and close ally of President López Obrador, lifted to 52%, while 50% of those polled said they would vote for Ebrard, who announced last July that he would seek Morena’s nomination.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum is a close ally of López Obrador, who has lauded her work as mayor.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum is a close ally of López Obrador, who has lauded her work as mayor. Gobierno de CDMX

Sheinbaum and Ebrard are considered the leading contenders to become Morena’s candidatein 2024, although other possibilities include Interior Minister Adán Agusto López and the party’s upper house leader, Senator Ricardo Monreal.

The Line 12 Metro disaster in Mexico City last year could be a drag on the vote of both Sheinbaum and Ebrard because the accident occurred while the former was in office and the faulty line was built while the latter was mayor.

In the imaginary contests against Creel and the Morena candidates, Colosio attracted 20% support in both, meaning that he finished second.

The Monterrey mayor was also included in the final two mock races in which México state Governor Alfredo del Mazo entered the fray for the PAN/PRI/PRD alliance, which contested the 2021 federal lower house elections as the Va por México coalition.

Sheinbaum and Ebrard dominated again, attracting 49% and 51% support, respectively, in their hypothetical contests against Colosio and del Mazo, a cousin of former president Enrique Peña Nieto.

The potential MC candidate finished ahead of del Mazo in both contests, garnering 21% and 20% support to the governor’s 19% and 17%.

While Sheinbaum achieved the best result in an individual mock scenario – 52% against Creel and Colosio – Ebrard has better name recognition, the survey found.

More than two-thirds of respondents – 68% – said they knew who Ebrard was compared to 53% who said the same about Sheinbaum. Zavala ranked third for name recognition (64%) behind only López Obrador (98%) and Ebrard.

In terms of name recognition, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and federal Deputy Margarita Zavala ranked second and third respectively, outranked only by President López Obrador.
In terms of name recognition, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and federal Deputy Margarita Zavala ranked second and third respectively, outranked only by President López Obrador. Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Colosio had 61% name recognition but many respondents were apparently confusing him with his deceased father. Del Mazo was the only other potential opposition candidate with name recognition above 50%.

The poll also found 36% overall support for Morena, compared to just 15% for both PAN and PRI. Eliminating the 21% of people who didn’t nominate a preferred party, effective support for the ruling party was 45%, compared to 19% for PAN and 17% for PRI.

Morena’s allies both attracted 3% support, meaning that support for the Morena/PT/PVEM alliance (without filtering out non-committal poll respondents) added up to 42% compared to 32% for the PAN/PRI/PRD coalition.

López Obrador won the 2018 presidential election with just over 53% of the popular vote.

Sí por México, a political movement opposed to the current government, announced last October that it would seek to get the MC to join an alliance with PAN, PRI and the PRD, which could increase the opposition’s electoral chances.

However, the El Universal poll indicates that Morena will triumph in 2024 even if an opposition candidate is backed by four rather than three parties. Two years out from the election, a dominant opposition flag bearer hasn’t yet emerged, which could be a factor in the opposition’s poor poll results.

Also in the pool of potential opposition candidates are Yucatán Governor Mauricio Vila and Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro, but the El Universal survey indicates that they are not widely known outside their home states.

With reports from El Universal 

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