Published On: Wed, May 30th, 2018

OPINION: One nation, four presidential candidates and a world of uncertainty

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Why on earth would one run for office if the chances of victory are slim to none?

There are several reasons one might run for office despite near-certain defeat.

For one thing, running for office is a way to promote a cause or causes. Sometimes a losing candidate can get certain issues into the public discourse despite losing.

Also, running for office significantly raises one’s profile.  It can make you much more famous.  There may be new opportunities resulting from this, such as new job offers or book deals.

Plus, one may want to run again, and each time a candidate runs, even if he or she loses, he or she is better known.

In an election with more than two candidates, one must consider the effect one’s candidacy has on other candidates.  One might have to ask if one’s second-preferred candidate (after oneself) is being hurt or helped by a candidacy.

Plus, a political campaign is exhilarating, and even long-shot candidates may convince themselves that they really can win.

In the Mexican election there were five candidates, and now there are four.

Independent candidate Margarita Ester Zavala Gomez del Campo de Calderon (wife of former president Felipe Calderon) has dropped out of the race.

Click here and scroll down  to view a video (in Spanish) of Margarita Zavala announcing her resignation from the race.  She makes a good plug in the video for a French-style second round in the Mexican election.  That would probably be a good idea for future elections, but it’s too late for this one.

elections 2018

And speaking of too late, INE (Instituto Nacional Electoral, the Mexican electoral authority) says it’s too late to change the fact that 45% of the ballots are already printed.

The PAN (Partido Acción Nacional) had requested that the previously-printed ballots (with Margarita’s name included) be destroyed and new ones printed.

Now why is the PAN so concerned about having Margarita’s name on the ballot?  It’s because the PANistas are afraid that some people are going to vote for Margarita Zavala anyway.  And it’s quite likely that Margarita Zavala was mining potential votes from potential PAN voters.

That means that Zavala’s withdrawal from the campaign will probably help the PAN.  So, it’s logical that the PAN would want ballots reprinted.

But the INE says it won’t do that.

As for people voting for Margarita, if she is on the ballot you can count on her getting some votes. That’s what happens in the United States when candidates are out of a campaign but still on the ballot.  So, the PAN was prudent to try to get that corrected.

Now, with the departure of Margarita Zavala there are four remaining candidates. They are:

  1.           Jose Antonio Meade Kuribreña of the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional), the party of current President Enrique Peña Nieto.  The PRI is in a coalition with two smaller parties: The Green Party (Partido Verde Ecologista de México) and the Partido Nueva Alianza, the PNA or PANAL.  The official name of Meade’s coalition is Todos por México (Everybody for Mexico).
  2.           Ricardo Anaya Cortes of the PAN (Partido Acción Nacional), in coalition with the leftist PRD (Partido de la Revolución Democrática) and the smaller Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizen Movement).  This coalition is called Por México al Frente (For Mexico to the Front).

 III.          Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is the candidate of the party he himself founded, MORENA (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional), in coalition with the Partido del Trabajo, the Labor Party (PT), and PES (Partido Encuentro Social).  The official name of the coalition is Juntos Haremos Historia (Together we will make History).

  1. Independent candidate Jaime Heliodoro Rodriguez Calderon, better known as “El Bronco.”

According to the Bloomberg Poll Tracker, as of May 18th AMLO was at 46.1%, Anaya at 27.7%, Meade at 19.2%, Bronco at 2.8%, and Margarita Zavala (who dropped out) at 2.2%.

Watching footage from the London wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19th, I saw some outside footage which showed a Mexican flag and two small MORENA posters.  So, it seems that some partisans of AMLO were able to make it to the royal wedding festivities!

DISCLAIMER: The opinions hereby are those of the author and not necessarily those of The San Miguel Times.


by Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years.  His website is located at



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