Your way-too-early Mexico election preview

The campaign for Mexico’s presidency has kicked up a gear this week, with the country’s two major political forces – the incumbent Morena party, and the Broad Front for Mexico coalition – picking their candidates.

Let’s meet them:

  • Claudia Sheinbaum, the former mayor of Mexico City, will represent the populist, left-leaning Morena party of Mexico’s current president (‘AMLO’), who’s term-limited from running again, and
  • Senator Xóchitl Gálvez will represent the Broad Front for Mexico, a coalition of three parties from across the ideological spectrum that dominated politics before Morena’s recent rise.

So Mexico will likely elect its first female president next year. Early polling suggests Sheinbaum is the front-runner, helped by her ties to AMLO (one of Mexico’s most popular presidents in history). But voters are still getting to know Gálvez, who has an aspirational story and an untainted image.

Intrigue’s take: One of our team (Jeremy) served as a diplomat in Mexico from 2010. Back then, AMLO had just lost an election and seemed to some like a spent force, while Mexico’s old parties remained dominant, bitter rivals.

Few would’ve believed AMLO would soon be president, popular, and helming a new party, forcing the dominant parties to unite just to mount a credible opposition. But that’s democracy: full of plot twists.

Also worth noting:

  • Morena ended the 94-year governorship of Mexico’s once-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party in the country’s most populous state in June.
  • Sheinbaum’s rival in her party’s primary, former foreign minister and Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard, denounced the party process.