Mexican public opinion research company Consulta Mitofsky released a new poll on Tuesday indicating that Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto’s support among likely voters has dropped from 44.6 percent in November 2011 to 42 percent. Although Peña Nieto is still considered the strong favorite in July’s presidential elections, likely rival Josefina Vázquez Mota of President Felipe Calderón’s Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) has since climbed from 17.2 percent in September 2011 to 20.8 percent in the poll released yesterday.
Most analysts attribute the slight dip in Peña Nieto’s support to a series of gaffes the candidate committed in recent weeks, which included the seeming inability to name three books that have influenced his life, not knowing Mexico’s federal minimum wage and misstating the price of a kilogram of Mexico’s ubiquitous corn tortillas.
According to political commentator Raymundo Riva Palacio, the recent missteps “reinforce the collective impression that [Peña Nieto] is a little media figure for whom years of careful choreography on a controlled stage allowed the construction of an attractive image for voters.” Peña Nieto in mid-December attempted to counter recent criticism, saying “I may not remember the name of a book’s author, but let it be clear, what I will not forget is the violence, the poverty and the desperation that Mexico is living through.”
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, former Mexico City mayor and the candidate for the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), registered 17.2 percent support compared to 16.1 percent in November 2011. Consulta Mitofsky polled 1,000 people from December 26 to 29. The survey had a 95 percent confidence rate, and a margin of error of up to 3.1 percentage points.