Poll: Mexican Leftist Widens Lead in Presidential Race

Mexican leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has maintained his lead in the race to win the presidency with less than two months remaining before the country’s July 1 election, an opinion poll showed on Monday.

The survey of 1,200 voters by polling firm BGC showed Lopez Obrador winning 42 percent support, up by two percentage points from a previous poll by the company published on April 20.

His closest rival Ricardo Anaya, who heads a right-left coalition, advanced one percentage point to 33 percent support, while Jose Antonio Meade, candidate of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), slipped three points to 19 percent.

The BGC poll, carried out between May 3-6, contrasted with recent surveys that showed Lopez Obrador’s advantage over Anaya narrowing somewhat at the end of April.

Lopez Obrador, runner-up in Mexico’s last two presidential elections, has led in opinion polls for months. His bid has capitalized on deep-seated discontent with the PRI over rising gang violence, corruption scandals and sluggish economic growth.

The poll also showed Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) backed by 39 percent of Mexicans in voting for the lower house of Congress. Two parties allied to MORENA were forecast to win another 5 percent between them.

Support for Anaya’s center-right National Action Party (PAN) stood at 25 percent, while its two coalition partners garnered another 10 percent.

The PRI was seen winning 18 percent of the vote in the lower house, with two allies together mustering another 3 percent.

The survey had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points, BGC said.