Political Thermometer

January 12, 2018
Political Thermometer

For Mexico and the United States 2018 will be a crucial political year, notwithstanding the impact that the global economy will have on the lives on citizens of both countries. In the U.S., 2018 will feature congressional mid-term elections in which the composition of the U.S. Congress, and in particular the U.S. Senate, will be hotly contested. The current majority held in the Senate by the Republican Party could change if enough Democrats are elected to wipe out the small majority currently held by Republicans.Mexico will hold its presidential elections this year and will vote on a completely new federal Congress. The 2018 Mexican election will feature 128 Senate contests, consisting of three senators from each state (96 in total), along with 32 senators elected on an at-large basis. The Mexican lower Chamber of Deputies will see 500 new members elected, with 300 being elected by a majority and 200 through proportional representation. At the state level, nine new governors will be elected, including important state elections in Veracruz, Jalisco, Guanajuato and Puebla, all four of which hold enormous political and economic weight. This year will also see the election of governors and congressional seats in the states of Tabasco, Yucatan, Morelos and Chiapas. Finally, the 2018 election will feature the first electoral contest to choose Mexico City’s (CDMX) Head of Government (“Jefe de Gobierno”) in conformity with the capital city’s new constitution.While the magnitude of the 2018 elections is notable for its wide scope, the interest of Mexico’s citizenry will be fundamentally focused on the presidential contest. Such focus is based not only on Mexico’s “Presidentialist” System, but also on the historic influence the Mexican president has on federal institutions and agencies. At this point, the contenders of Mexico’s main political parties have been defined, with Jose Antonio Meade running on behalf of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which will seek to keep its hold on executive power. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) will represent the MORENA Party, and, according to recent polling, appears to lead the race. The “Coalition for Mexico First” (Coalición por México al Frente), which is also known as the Citizens Front for Mexico, will be led by Ricardo Anaya on behalf of a coalition comprised of the PAN, PRD and Citizens Movement (Movimiento Ciudadano or MC) parties. It is also likely that one or more additional independent candidates will seek to qualify their candidacies by demonstrating the legally required level of public support for their presidential bids.The upcoming months will be crucial and will surely highlight a struggle by the presidential contenders to capture the support of voters who remain undecided. Each one of such contenders has a solid base of unconditional supporters - even if the election is still months away - and their respective campaigns, debates and proposals still must be considered by Mexican voters. Final results will not be known until official tallies have been verified of the voting that will take place on Sunday, July 1st. One thing is certain: the political temperature in Mexico will continue to rise throughout 2018.

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