Conservative Jalisco is not a natural stomping ground for leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to trumpet his platform.
But the former popular mayor of Mexico City – the country’s most liberal metropolis – is aware that he needs votes from all corners of the country if he is to be successful in his third attempt to become the president of Mexico on July 1.
As of April 11, the candidate for Morena commanded an 11-point lead in the polls. Despite these encouraging stats, Lopez Obrador and his team know this advantage can quickly be eroded (he enjoyed a sizable lead over Felipe Calderon early in the 2006 campaign before eventually falling at the final hurdle) and are convinced that he must widen his appeal in central and northern Mexican states that normally turn up their noses up at any whiff of a left-wing candidate.
Polling shows that Lopez Obrador’s fierce anti-corruption message is resonating with voters above any other theme in most areas of Mexico. He continued to underscore this during a brief swing through Jalisco last week, holding mass rallies in the main plazas of Zapopan and Tequila. “Corruption is the cancer that destroys the country,” he told his followers, adding that his three key principles are, “Don’t lie, don’t steal and don’t betray the people.”
But these rallying cries against injustice, impunity and dishonesty were not enough to get him past the winning posts in 2006 and 2012. Tactics will be crucial in 2018, political analysts say.