Over the last two weeks, I’ve been on the phone or social media with many friends in Mexico. We usually narrow our talk to this:
1) Do you believe these polls showing Andrés Lopez-Obrador ahead?
2) What if he loses? What happens then?
As of today, all of the experts have Lopez-Obrador winning the election. It’s the “3rd time it’s a charm” story, a reference to his two previous defeats in 2006 and 2012. The candidate said this:
“This is going to be a peaceful, orderly change, but at the same time, it will be radical,” Lopez Obrador said recently, drawing cheers and cries of “Presidente! Presidente!” from a crowd in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende..
Despite the lead in the polls, most of my Mexican friends do not believe them. They cite a lot of good reasons, such as “no one answers political questions on the phone”.
Others are a bit more humorous: Didn’t the experts say that Germany had a 90% chance of beating Mexico?
Yes, they did!
What really worries my friends is this: What happens if he loses?
I remember people on the sidewalks of Mexico City protesting his defeat. It was bizarre, to say the least.
My friends say that it will be worse this time because Lopez-Obrador is convinced of victory. His supporters believe that only fraud can deny them their “turn.”
It may be a crazy summer down in Mexico. If he wins, the peso takes a hit. If he loses, the streets go crazy.
Last but not least, a Mexican friend told me that it was a lot more fun when elections were not contested. I don’t know if “one-party rule” was better but at least the ride to the airport was not delayed by demonstrations.