Mexican Presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), has widened his lead over his rivals in a new poll published by Mitofsky Thursday.
Support for AMLO, the former leftist mayor of Mexico City, increased by 2.4 percentage points, going from 27.1 percent in February to 29.5 percent in March. At the same time, his two main rivals, Ricardo Anaya of the National Action Party (PAN) and Jose Antonio Meade of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) saw their favorability rating decrease by 1.1 and 1.6 percentage points respectively.
AMLO, who is running for Mexico’s presidency for the third time, is regarded as a strong anti-corruption candidate. However, business sectors are weary of his economic policies.
He has spoken about revising 91 contracts signed under the current administration in the energy sector. Peña Nieto’s energy reforms were very unpopular and faced a series of protests. Lopez Obrador has argued on several occasions that structural changes are required and has advanced the idea of a popular consultation or referendum to gauge the opinion of the public.
Anaya is second in the polls with 21.2 percent support. His candidacy has been faltering due to corruptions allegations and the fact that he is currently under investigation by Mexico’s Attorney General’s office. The federal investigation is connected to the sale of property by Anaya, which involved a shell company and illicit money.
Anaya’s party, the PAN, has denied the claims and accused current president Peña Nieto of using state institutions to hurt Anaya’s campaign. An accusation the Attorney General’s office rejects arguing the investigation started in October after a complaint was filed.
The scandal surrounding Anaya, however, has not boosted the ruling party's candidate, Meade, who is currently ranked third in the polls with 16.4 percent, as his party is involved in corruption and associated with lawlessness.
Margarita Zavala, a former first lady, and a right-wing independent candidate finished in fourth place with 4.8 percent of respondents favoring her. After two other independent candidates, Jaime Rodriguez and Armando Rios Piter, were disqualified over fake signatures supporting their candidacy she is the only independent contesting the July 1 elections.
The poll was conducted between March 16-18 and surveyed 1,000 registered voters. The presidential electoral campaign officially begins on March 30.