Monday, July 04, 2005

EDo Mex governor: results seem valid


Election returns came in speedily last night from the largest and most diverse state of the Republic's 30 odd states, Estado de Mexico.

THE WINNER: Enrique Pena Nieto, of the PRI & PVEM, with almost half of the vote.

Both of the other candidates were far behind, getting about quarter each.

I was one of the first on site observers to call the 1988 presidential election a fraud, but I think that these 2005 EdoMex totals are valid in the aggregate and do not represent appreciable tampering. Here are my reasons.

1. On Monday July 4, the day after the election, each polling station (like a precinct) posted a handwritten total for that station (SEE IMAGE ABOVE). A tour of several around the state capital, in different neighborhoods all show the dramatic trend of the PRI candidate getting a clear majority of the votes. These hand drawn papers, the size of a flip chart sheet, are signed by observers from each of the three major parties.

2. The statewide totals were quickly published by the media. We woke up to see the numbers in the newspapers and hear about it on the radio. Back in 1988 it took the PRI over a week to tweak the numbers to give Carlos Salinas Gortari a phony victory.

3. The results are consistent with the magnitude and trends of tracking polls. Back in early March, the first polls showed a close three way race. Two weeks ago, it was clear that the PAN Mendoza had gained no traction despite his focus on hot button issues, and that PRD Yeidckol´s campaign had self-destructed. The PRI was picking up Yeidckol´s deserters and growing. In the past two weeks, the only big move seemed to be that the PAN Mendoza campaign self-destructed with more rumors about his drunkeness and riotous behavior at campaign rallies.

4. Very early Monday morning, Mendoza called Pena Nieto to give a gracious concession.

At this point, the only one who seems to doubt the validity of the results in Yeidckol Polevnsky, saying she will mount an official challenge to the results.

My advice: give it up, Ms. Polevnsky! In all the local precinct totals I saw this morning in Toluca, she came in dead last. Even in the city´s poorest neighborhoods on the southwest side (and they are not really that poor) she was getting only 10-20%. Even assuming she did much better in the PRD strongholds of Mexico City´s outlying slums like Nezahualcoyotl, there´s no way she could beat the PRI strength in the rural areas.

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