A Guide to 2018 Latin American Elections: Mexico

July 1 marked the biggest elections in Mexico’s history, given that a constitutional reform aligned federal and local election dates to increase the number of posts by 60 percent compared to the 2012 general elections. Voters cast ballots for president, both houses of Congress, the head of government in Mexico City, eight governors, and local posts in 30 out of 32 states.

But the elections were historic for reasons that went well beyond their sheer size. Mexicans—worn out by violence, corruption, and limited economic opportunities—showed their dissatisfaction with the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party. They turned out in droves for a third-time candidate, leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who frequently railed against the “Mafia del Poder.” He beat his next-closest rival by roughly 30 points and, with preliminary results showing him snagging 53 percent of the vote, became the first president in three decades to win more than half of ballots cast.

His party showed strong results across the country, and the next question is how this massive shift will define Mexico’s future.

>> Find out about other elections in our main 2018 Election Guide.


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