by Miguel Toro
One month away from election day, the last week of May was dominated with the discussion of something that sprung from the second presidential debate: PRI’s candidate José Antonio Meade’s accusation that proposed proportional representation senator from Morena, Nestora Salgado, should not be allowed to run because she is a criminal.
Meade said during the debate that front-runner Andrés Manuel López Obrador harbors all sorts of shady people in his party like Nestora Salgado, a Mexican woman (with an American citizenship) that was accused in court of kidnapping, killing and extorting people in a small town in the poor state of Guerrero where she was the rural-police commander. Rural-police is a rough translation as these are self-defense police-like groups formed by indigenous people in marginalized communities that have been plagued by organized crime, that in essence are paramilitary groups that in some states have been legalized (as is the case of Guerrero since 2011). Thanks to these laws, the accusations against Nestora Salgado were disregarded by three federal level judges and Mrs. Salgado was freed after being captured by the Mexican army. Now, Morena has her among the top 10 people in their proportional representation list for the Senate. Considering vote intentions for that party, it is likely she will become a Senator (with legal immunity while her term lasts) and the PRI considered using her as a way to relate AMLO with corrupt or criminally charged people. It must be noted, that the National Electoral Institute ordered the PRI to take down a TV spot where they accused Nestora and AMLO of being criminals under the claim of slandering them.
The other topic heavily discussed over the last couple of days is the strength of AMLO’s campaign and the real possibility that he will control both Chambers of Congress. A Consulta Mitofsky poll released on May 24th, showed that in their estimates for both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, AMLO’s coalition is not only prone to be the biggest in Congress, but also possibly having absolute majority (50%+1 of all seats) and the PRI in their historic lows. According to the poll, AMLO’s coalition comprised of Morena, the Labour Party (PT) and the Evangelical Social Encounter Party (PES) could get up to 71 out of 128 Senators and 288 out of 500 Deputies. Meanwhile, the PRI who is currently the biggest party in Congress, would plummet to a maximum of 22 (out of 128) Senators and 62 (out of 500) Deputies. The entire estimates for Senators and Deputies can be seen in the following image property of El Economista newspaper who paid for this poll.
Figure 1. Consulta Mitofsky’s Congress Poll (May 24th, 2018)
Lopez Obrador’s coalition may control both Chambers of Congress
Source: El Economista
With respect to presidential polls, there has been only one new poll after the second debate from Reforma newspaper. In their most recent poll, recurrent collaborator of the Mexico Institute’s “Expert Take” podcast and Reforma’s head pollster, Lorena Becerra, found that AMLO’s lead increased after the debate at the expense of PAN presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya. In that poll, AMLO has a 2-to-1 advantage over Anaya 31 days away from election day.
According to the aggregate summary of the “poll of polls” from Oraculus.mx AMLO has a 46% of voting intentions, for 30% from Anaya and 21% of Meade. Its predictive model gives López Obrador a probability of 92% of winning.
Figure 2. Poll of Polls (up to May 30th, 2018)
Lopez Obrador’s margin remains strong 40 days away from election