Tuesday, July 03, 2007

AMLO's Stubbornness Has Hurt Future Prospects

There was a ton of attention a year ago to Mexico's incredibly narrow Presidential election, in which the conservative candidate defeated socialist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador by less than a percentage point. A year later, a Bloomberg poll shows that President Felipe Calderon has gained a lot of ground:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who was elected a year ago by a margin of less than 0.6 percentage point, is gaining support, a poll taken by El Universal newspaper says.

When asked which candidate they would vote today for in a replay of last year's election, 45 percent picked Calderon, compared with 31 percent for former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The poll underscores how Calderon's military war on drug traffickers has boosted his popularity and Lopez Obrador's street protests alienated moderate supporters. During a rally yesterday in downtown Mexico City Lopez Obrador urged legislators to block bills backed by Calderon.

Mexican presidents are limited to one 6-year term under the nation's constitution, so Calderon cannot run again in 2012. AMLO however, hoped to delegitimize Calderon's victory and make himself a heavy favorite in 2012. Looks like that plan isn't working all that well.

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