Mexican leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador tops a recent poll released by Reforma newspaper Sunday with 42 percent support, leading his nearest rival by 14 points.
Lopez Obrador, head of the upstart Morena party, has twice run for president under the banner of the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution, known as the PRD.
In second place in the poll is former First Lady Margarita Zavala, with 28 percent support. Manlio Fabio Beltrones, of the ruling centrist PRI, obtained 22 percent support.
Miguel Angel Mancera, the current PRD mayor of Mexico City, considered the second-most important political post in Mexico, obtained 25 percent support.
The PRD, along other mainstream Mexican political parties, has endured a loss a credibility as a result of scandals linking the Mexican political class to organized crime groups. The PRD mayor of the town of Iguala, for example, is accused of being the mastermind behind the forced disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers' training college.
During midterm elections held in June, electoral authorities were forced to annul the elections in the municipality of Tixtla, near the site of the college, after teachers trainees from Ayotzinapa and relatives of the 43 students missing from the school boycotted the elections and burned more than 20 percent of the electoral boxes and ballots deployed for that area.
In those elections, the PRI emerged victorious, despite the ongoing scandals plaguing the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Although Lopez Obrador had ties to the PRD in the past, his current party has not been accused of having the same links to organized crime, providing a partial explanation for the levels of support Lopez Obrador currently enjoys.
The next presidential election will be held in July 2018.