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There are many problems with public-opinion polls—like their failure to illuminate the real forces and phenomena behind popular beliefs. They have generally been pretty good, however, at predicting how (as opposed to why) citizens are going to vote in an election a few days away. With Mexico’s presidential election just a week and a half away, a variety of voter surveys continue to show the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto as the frontrunner. Just a week ago, in a poll conducted by the newspaper Reforma, the candidate of the left, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), after a very slow start, had come as close as four points behind Peña Nieto and had clearly taken second place from the PAN’s Josefina Vásquez Mota. But the latest Reforma poll shows the PRIista’s lead widening again to 12 points over the second-place AMLO. With some minor variations, these results have been mirrored by a half dozen voter surveys over the past week or so.
AMLO’s response to all this is to deny the validity of the surveys. “We have our own polls,” he told a press conference yesterday, and they show us two points ahead and gaining. He did not reveal the source of that information.
His inability to accept bad news or his own personal or political errors has long been part of AMLO’s image. In a perceptive, and not unsympathetic profile of the candidate in the magazine Nexos, Andrés Lajous writes that AMLO has always seen the admission of error as a weakness that can be exploited by his political enemies. On the contrary, this very trait has effectively opened him to his enemies’ charges of bullheadedness.
The case of the polls is different from an inability to admit mistakes, but it’s a trait that has cost him some credibility. Consider this statement to the press on being behind in a half dozen independent polls: “I believe the Reforma poll was badly done...and it seems very strange because the polls of Reforma have been attached to reality. In other cases the polls of Milenio, El Universal, the other polls are evidently manipulated” to favor Peña Nieto.
This characteristic has damaged his credibility in the past: He seems to be saying that everyone who is not with him (even pollsters) is mistaken, manipulated, or lying. Not much room for dialogue or self-reflection there. In an otherwise positive campaign that has effectively mobilized people around progressive policies, this inability to admit bad news has not served him well.
For more from Fred Rosen's blog, "Mexico, Bewildered and Contested," visit nacla.org/blog/mexico-bewildered-contested.
EVERYWHERE I GO AND ASK, ALL SAID THE SAME, THEY WON'T VOTE FOR PENA NIETO, TIRED OF LIES, CORRUPTION AND DRUG CARTEL, WE NEED SOMEONE LIKE AMLO MANUEL LOPEZ, TO CLEAN MEXICO, WHERE IS THE DEMOCRACY?, STOP FAVORING THE PRI JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE AFRAID OF WHAT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU OR YOUR FAMILY, I REALLY HOPE THAT MY PEOPLE FIGHT FOR WHAT THEY REALLY WANT THIS TIME AND DON'T ACCEPT ANOTHER CLOWN PUPPET LIKE PENA NIETO.
IT'S JUST UPSETING THAT AN ORGANIZATION LIKE THIS IS ALSO SUPPORTING FRAUD!!!
VAMOS POR AMLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is understandable to see these attacks towards you and your article, but that is exactly the way of thinking for amlo supporters, only their candidate is right and the rest of the world is wrong.
I used to be a PRD simpathizer, but since 2006 and seeing the wrongdoing of amlo, i became aware that the leftwing parties in mexico are a serious problem for the democratic process of my country. all they believe in is that they are the hope of the nation, and that nobody can govern better than them.
In my home state of zacatecas, with the previous governer, she had let in organized crime in and take control of the state itself, she has left a damaging debt for my children and grandchildren.
The only viable candidate for me personally is Enrique Peña Nieto and the PRI, it is true that they had their flaws, but which political party in this world hasn´t had thier fare share of problems.
On this first of july i will be voting for Enrique Peña Nieto and the PRI, for a better future for my kids.
The writer obviously knows nothing of what is currently going on in Mexico
Mexico is finally waking up from a 80 year old nap, now AMLO is the only candidate that is willing to make a real change, he has encounter the mega rich people in mexico most of them are the richest in the world, they want to keep the same goberment that had given them the peoples assets, PRI and PAN the actual goberments had added millions of extreme poor citicens to the country and this problem also reflects the narcotics, kidnaping and extortion that had become the most significant society problem, also the actual goberment has dropped mexico's education to the 34th place and the actual goberment had no signs to repair this problem. The people in Mexico need the change as soon as possible but the actual goberments are doing all they can to remain in power by trading votes for money and goods , this is illegal but since they control the poll's institutions IFE they can get away with it. they invested millions buying vote surveys agencies to show polls on their fabor but the real surveys show different by having AMLO as the front runner.
Some international media that fall victim of all this presidential marketing scam by the PRI AND PAN such as NACLA just publish what they see on the mexican news paper such as the Excelsior, Milenio and Reforma this news paper have chosen PRI as their candidate.
NACLA shame on you and next time do some real research of the truth and reality of Mexico's presidential election.
AMLO is the only candidate who has visited every municipality of Mexico, and every indigenous community of costumbres and usos in Oaxaca. His record as the mayor of Mexico City gained him worldwide recognition for creating social programs for the elderly, poor and single mothers. He addressed crime and made el DF the safest city in the country. He has already transformed Mexico by holding a critical stance toward the media and the use of polls to shape rather than poll public opinion. His courage and sheer will have inspired Mexican students to rise in la Primavera mexicana, but I guess NACLA prefers el mexicano agachado so that NACLA can have a victim to defend and stay in business. Shame on you, NACLA.
I am shocked to see this coming from NACLA. Are you not aware of Mexico's long history of electoral manipulation and fraud? AMLO has his problems, but to assess his reaction to the polls as a personal failure is to assume that polling in Mexico is not influenced by either direct fabrication of the results or indirect manipulation through the media. Take a look at the The Guardian article ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/07/mexico-presidency-tv-dirty-tricks ). AMLO has steadfastly pointed his finger at political fraud. That is one thing he has offered the Mexican political landscape. You might want to check out Peña Nieto's human rights record while governor of Mexico. That will make for some nice investigative journalism.
With all due respect before coming to conclusion there enough evidence of media interest and links financing polls to believe in them. Llook into the Guardian allegations not further...why international media takevthe time to hire some bilingual reporter to read what the social media and other sources of todays information are saying before you advance an educated and infirmed opinion?. Kind of tire to read things that do not reflect reality. If polls are everything...you should ask about Alberta Canada polls fiasco...
I agree with u. Polls in Mexico are wrong!! they do not reflect the reality of this country, they are giving Pena Nieto the first place whe he is in the third or maybe second place. Even the international news beleve he is the front runner when obviouly he isn't. But my question is why the international news also support Pena Nieto? Do they believe the polls in Mexico?.... Well the story here is different from what the news tell here in Mexico and outside Mexico.
Sincerely A Mexican citizen!!!