Mexico Poll: Rising Public Opinion Against the Desafuero
The numbers are interesting because they show dramatic growth both nationally and in the countrys largest metropolis of sentiment against the desafuero and a corresponding shrinkage of any support for the anti-democracy maneuver that continues to be promoted by President Vicente Fox and other political insiders.
Nationwide, 48 percent of the people oppose the desafuero whereas only 15 percent support it. And by tracking the sharp shift in public opinion in the nations capital where the desafuero debate had a head start on the national discussion and now 80 percent of the public opposes the plot the poll makes it clear that those nationwide numbers are trending upward for democracy, as support for the attempted pre-electoral coup detat is dwindling sharply toward the single digits The new nationwide results are similar to those among capital city residents six months ago in a September 2004 poll, when 58 percent opposed the desafuero compared to 27 percent in favor.
But after the jumpstart, just weeks ago, of a Civil Society campaign (that began, and is strongest, in the capital city), the numbers in defense of López Obradors right to be a presidential candidate have skyrocketed, in the capital, from 58 percent to 80 percent a 22 percent spike whereas support for the desafuero has shrunk from 27 percent to just 15 percent.
(This new poll was taken on March 5, shortly after Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos' communiqué opposing the desafuero and calling for public protests against it.)
Even members of Foxs own National Action Party (PAN, in its Spanish initials) oppose the desafuero plot, according to the poll: 53 percent of PANistas in the nations capital oppose the desafuero. The same for the rank-and-file capital city members of the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party): 59 percent oppose the desafuero. (A massive 71 percent of citizens without a political party oppose the desafuero, according to the poll, and an even larger percentage of members of López Obradors Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, are galvanized against it.)
As the campaign against the desafuero now hits the provinces, where it was slower to begin, and López Obrador continues his media-soaked weekend tours in the different regions and state capitals of the country, the same arguments that have been made for weeks in the nations capital are beginning to be discussed and debated throughout the country: It seems likely that the numbers will continue to bounce upwards, punishingly, against the desafuero plot.
In related poll watching news, Mexicos largest daily, El Universal, published a poll this weekend that, very similar to recent polls by the daily Reforma and the daily Milenio, show Lopez Obrador beating all comers as a presidential candidate. Against the two strongest possible candidates of the other major parties, the daily (historically linked to the PRI party) shows that López Obrador of the PRD party has the support of 35 percent of the national public, compared to 29 percent for PRI candidate Roberto Madrazo and 26 percent for PAN candidate Santiago Creel. Matched against other possible PRI and PAN candidates, the Mexico City governors support increases, in some match-ups to more than 40 percent support.
An English-language summary of that poll appears, courtesy of the Angus Read Consultants, online:
The question was: What candidate would you vote for in the 2006 presidential election?
The response was:
- López Obrador (PRD) 35% (up 7 points since last November)
- Roberto Madrazo (PRI) 27% (up one point since last November)
- Santiago Creel (PAN) 26% (down three points since last November)
Last week, during one of his daily six a.m. press conferences, López Obrador, tongue in cheek, thanked President Vicente Fox for having become his accidental campaign manager, making him evermore popular at home and abroad.
One wonders whether U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, prior to her scheduled Mexico City visit tomorrow, will be fully briefed on the decomposing desafuero plot, and whether new orders from headquarters will come down on one side or the other. Watch Fox in the days after her visit: his words will reveal the party line from Washington and whatever will be said behind closed doors.