They’re still counting, or re-counting, the votes in Mexico. Enrique Peña Nieto of the once-all-powerful Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was (probably) elected the country’s next president this past Sunday with about 38% of the vote. The results remain contested because the second-place finisher, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has challenged them, alleging various kinds of fraud and demanding a total recount.
Supporters of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), are angry and dismayed as polls show the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto maintaining a lead over second-place AMLO of six to 18 points. None of this is to say that Peña Nieto deserves to be the front-runner, much less that Mexico would be better off with the authoritarian, corrupt, corporatist PRI back in power, but when I reported the polling consensus in last week’s blog, I received several negative comments from AMLOistas accusing me of betraying the cause of the left—as though recognizing that you are behind is the equivalent of admitting you are wrong.
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.