Thursday, January 6, 2011

Alejandro Encinas: A possible, but not likely, winner in Mexico State

Alejandro Encinas appears to have taken care of his legal woes surrounding the residency requirement in Mexico State - he used to live there, but moved to the Distrito Federal years ago - and now quite openly talks about his possible candidacy in Mexico State's gubernatorial elections.

His announcement, of sorts, have been greeted with much enthusiasm, and for a reason: Encinas is notably popular with the PRD base, both with the andresmanuelistas, as well as with many of the more moderate center-left members, as Encinas, lest we forget, politically speaking was always a moderate, until he latched on to the AMLO camp, more a product of personal loyalties than ideological congruency.

To recap, what counts in his favor:
1) Possibility to unify the non-PRD left - PT and Convergencia would back him
2) Possibility to unify the PRD - both the social democrats/socialists and the AMLO movement-party populists would back him.
3) Marcelo Ebrard is a strong supporter.

Yet what counts against:
1) PAN quite divided over backing him. National-level PAN party leadership much more supportive than the Mexico State branch, many of whom are highly negative.
2) Yet most importantly: Encinas will not go in alliance with PAN.

The latter point means that, unless the PAN rolls over on its back, does not postulate its own candidate, and tell all its voters to vote for the left, there will be no PAN-PRD common candidate, which as far as I can see is the only possible way the PRI can be beaten in Mexico State.

I find this scenario extremely unlikely. Though one precedent does exist: In Guerrero, the PAN's candidate for governor is basically only doing a symbolic campaign, all but telling his backers openly to vote for the left candidate, so as not to suck voters away from that camp. Yet given PAN's very real strength in Mexico State... again, I just don't see this happening.

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