How important are elections in the state of Mexico for the 2024 presidential election?

(CNN Spanish) — Elections on June 4 in the state of Mexico summon the entity with the largest number of electoral lists in the country to define a new governor, something unprecedented.

I am 12,676,625 citizens eligible to vote in elections, according to the National Electoral Institute (INE).

Candidates to government of the state of Mexico They are Delfina Gómez — from the allied candidacy of the Morena, PT and PVEM parties — and Alejandra del Moral, from the Va por el Estado de México coalition of the PAN, PRI, PRD and Nueva Alianza Estado de México parties.

This election is not only seen as a state process, but as a thermometer on the possible preferences of voters towards the 2024 presidential elections.

The power of the state of Mexico

The state of Mexico is the federal entity with the largest number of inhabitants in the country, 16.9 million, according to data from 2020 of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). With an electoral list of 12.6 million, the weight of the vote in the state of Mexico is significant.

To exemplify its size, this is roughly equivalent to the total number of inhabitants of El Salvador and Nicaragua combined.

“It is 60% of the electoral lists in all of Central America, it is also the electoral list equivalent to Chile and it is larger than Uruguay and Paraguay combined. We are talking about a very large mass of votes,” explained Bernardo Barranco, analyst politician and former electoral adviser of the State of Mexico.

Due to its electoral dimension, the State of Mexico is, in turn, a fundamental space for measuring the power of parties. “It is the main vote-basket nationally, for both the PRI and the PAN here they have the highest number of votes nationally. For Morena, here he also has the first or second place in number of votes at the national level,” explains Professor Juan Carlos Villarreal Martínez, of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico.

For this reason, analysts believe that what happens in the elections in the state of Mexico could be a laboratory for the presidential elections of 2024.

“This percentage (of the State of Mexico) can be a final orientation before the elections of the 24th, which are presidential elections,” says Barranco.

“Whoever wants to get a good result in next year’s elections must win the state of Mexico yes or yes. In the case of Morena, not only would it reach 23 governorships, but he would govern over 60% of the nominal list ”, says the academic Villarreal. “For the coalition of Vamos por el Estado de México, winning is essential to arrive in better conditions to compete in 2024”.

The political configuration: the last bastion of the PRI?

The state has 94 years of governments led by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI.

Barranco told CNN that this is a crucial point of the election.

The sociologist explains that the PRI had “the largest and most powerful stronghold in the State of Mexico, because there it has the most powerful political group in the country, the Atlacomulco Group”.

Barranco told Carmen Aristegui that the PRI “has been losing territory since 2015, and this is the last one it has left”.

That’s why the possibility of the party losing power in this state is significant, says the analyst. “First: it also reflects the decline of the PRI, which dominated the political life of the country in an authoritarian manner in the twentieth century”.

“For many parties the State of Mexico is losing, for the PRI it is entering a process of agony because there would be no way to do it.”

The participation factor

In 2017, only about 53 percent of voters in the state went to cast the ballot, so if the trend continues, the most populated places with the highest turnout may determine elections.

Professor Villarreal assures that the weight falls on the voters of 10 of the 125 municipalities available to the state, given that 50% of the votes are concentrated there.

“In the case of the PRI/PAN/PRD coalition, we can identify starting from Cuatitlán Izcalli, Atizapán, Naucalpan, Tlanepantla, which are all in the urban corridor, and Toluca, which is the state capital and which provides the largest number of votes hard for the PRI”.

“And then, in the other group, there is Ecatepec, there is Nezahualcóyotl, there is Texcoco, Chimalhuacán, Valle de Chalco, those other five that Morena has won, and that in all the polls that have been published are very repetitive.”

With information from Rey Rodríguez, Krupskaia Alís, Uriel Blanco and Carmen Aristegui.

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