Mexico election: Enrique Pena Nieto likely to be the next president


Front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto stands with his family while greeting supporters at his final campaign rally on June 24, 2012 in Mexico City.


John Moore

After three months of public rallies, handshaking and kissing babies, Mexico’s presidential candidates hit the streets today for the last day of official campaigning before Sunday’s election.

The latest polls show front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto of the center-left opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party has extended his already comfortable lead, according to Reuters.

More from GlobalPost: On Location video: Can first-time voters swing Mexico’s election?

A voter survey by polling firm Buendia & Laredo shows Pena Nieto has risen 4.2 percentage points to 41.2 percent, putting him 17.4 points ahead of leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party, Mexican newspaper El Universal reported.

Josefina Vazquez Mota, candidate of the ruling conservative National Action Party and Mexico’s first female presidential hopeful for a major political party, fell further behind her rivals.  

She dropped 0.8 percentage points to 20.6 percent from the previous survey conducted by Buendia & Laredo on June 18.

Another poll of voters published in Mexican newspaper Excelsior showed the telegenic Pena Nieto at 44 percent – 16 points ahead of the silver-haired Lopez Obrador, who lost the 2006 presidential election by a whisker.

Vazquez Mota had 25 percent support.

Drug-related violence has been a key issue in this year’s election.

More from GlobalPost: Mexico's drug-war dead: 12,000 in 2011

The deadly shooting incident in Mexico City’s international airport earlier this week would not have helped Vazquez Mota’s chances, with many voters blaming her party’s aggressive campaign against the drug cartels for fueling the violence which has claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people and turned parts of the country into no-go zones. 

More from GlobalPost: In Latin America, 'critical mass' urges end to drug war