Mexico’s leftist presidential front runner, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has sharply increased his lead ahead of the July election, a new opinion poll showed Monday.
The survey in the El Universal newspaper had Lopez Obrador with 38 percent support among registered voters, 13 points ahead of his nearest rival, conservative rival Felipe Calderon of the ruling National Action Party.
Lopez Obrador had a lead of just three percentage points in the newspaper’s last poll in February.
Roberto Madrazo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ran Mexico for most of the 20th century, was running third in the new survey with 21 percent support.
Madrazo has been hurt by a party scandal involving a PRI governor accused of plotting to jail a writer in retaliation for her book linking a powerful local businessman to a child sex ring.
Promises to put poor first
Lopez Obrador, a former mayor of Mexico City, promises to put Mexico’s millions of poor first if he wins the July 2 election. His lead in polls faded late last year but has risen again since the election campaign formally began in January.
As the election date nears, a greater percentage of potential voters say they plan to participate, a factor that appears to benefit Lopez Obrador, the poll found.
Among likely voters, the poll showed support for Lopez Obrador rising to 42 percent while Calderon slipped to 32 percent and Madrazo trailed with 24 percent.
The poll of 1,500 people was carried out March 3-6 and had a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.