by Miguel Toro
The 2018 Mexican election campaign began this past Friday, March 30. From this point onwards, candidates for the presidency, governor races, the Mexican Congress, and hundreds of local positions will campaign, attempting to persuade voters that they are the right choice.
This will be the biggest election in Mexico’s history as there are 3,416 positions up for grabs in 30 out of the 32 states. In general, current poll numbers suggest important shifts in political power throughout the country. The left-wing Morena party is ahead in polls for congressional positions in both chambers and will be competitive in 6 of the 9 governor races (especially in Mexico City and the small state of Morelos).1 Meanwhile, the incumbent party, the PRI, is attempting to be the second largest party in Congress, but is barely ahead of the right-wing PAN in opinion polls. In terms of governor races, despite being the incumbent in 3 of the 9 states with elections this year, the PRI starts the campaign behind other parties in the polls in every state. It is the “Frente” –a right-wing-left-wing electoral alliance between the PAN, PRD, and Citizens’ Movement party–which seems very competitive in 8 of the 9 states, particularly Guanajuato and Jalisco
Figure 1. Voting support for Congress by party
The AMLO coalition (Morena + PT + PES) will have around 40% of seats in Congress.
Source: Own elaboration with data from El Financiero newspaper’s March 22, 2018 poll.
In terms of the presidential race, at the start of the campaign, left-wing Andrés Manuel López Obrador sits comfortably in first place in every poll with around 40 percent of voting intention, which represents a 12 percentage point lead with respect to Ricardo Anaya. The PAN, PRD, and Citizen Movement coalition candidate is the runner up with around 28 percent of voting support and ahead of incumbent PRI party candidate José Antonio Meade who has around 22 percent of voting support on average in the polls. Much farther behind, the only independent candidate in this race, former First Lady Margarita Zavala (former PAN member), has around 5 percent of voting support. These numbers are taken from the poll of polls compiled by Oraculus.mx, where they note that in most opinion surveys there are at least 25 percent of voters who remain undecided.
Figure 2. Voting support for presidential candidates
*Note: All of these polls were done before the start of the campaign contemplating more independent candidates that in the end did not make the cut-off point. Those are aggregated into the “Others” category.
Source: Own elaboration with data compiled from the “Poll of Polls” done by Oraculus.mx
 Based on polling data from El Financiero pollster Dr. Alejandro Moreno.