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The 2012 Presidential Election and What It Reveals about Mexican Voters


The 2012 presidential election in Mexico is significant for many reasons, not least of which is that it returned the Partido Revolucionario Institucional to power after two Partido Acción Nacional administrations. This essay reviews more than 50 surveys taken before and during the election to determine significant patterns among Mexican voters, comparing the most influential traditional and non-traditional demographic variables, as well as other variables such as partisanship and policy issues in this election, with those of the two previous presidential races. It also analyses other influential variables in the 2012 presidential race, including social media and the application of new electoral legislation. It identifies significant differences and similarities among voters today in contrast to the two prior elections, and suggests long-term patterns among Mexican voters which are likely to influence voting behaviour in future elections, ranging from regionalism and gender to partisanship and social media.

Spanish abstract

La elección presidencial de 2012 en México es importante por muchas razones, en particular por el retorno del Partido Revolucionario Institucional al poder después de dos administraciones del Partido Acción Nacional. Este ensayo revisa más de 50 encuestas hechas antes y durante las elecciones para determinar qué patrones significativos existen entre los votantes mexicanos. Aquí se comparan, junto a las dos elecciones pasadas, variables demográficas tradicionales y no tradicionales que ejercieron mayor influencia, así como otras como simpatías partidarias y asuntos políticos durante las votaciones. También analiza otras variables significativas en las elecciones de 2012 como las redes sociales y la aplicación de una nueva legislación electoral. Identifica diferencias y similitudes significativas entre los votantes de hoy con los de las dos elecciones pasadas, y sugiere patrones de largo plazo entre los votantes que pudieran influir en el comportamiento electoral en futuras elecciones que van desde regionalismo y género hasta las simpatías partidarias y redes sociales.

Portuguese abstract

A eleição de 2012 no México é significativa por diversas razões, dentre quais se destaca o fato de ter retornado ao poder o Partido Revolucionário Institucional após duas administrações do Partido Acción Nacional. Este ensaio revisa mais de 50 pesquisas eleitorais feitas antes e durante as eleições para determinar padrões significativos entre eleitores mexicanos. Compara esta eleição com as duas disputas anteriores, analisando as variáveis demográficas (tradicionais e não-tradicionais) mais influentes, assim como outras variáveis, como o partidarismo e propostas políticas. Também analisa outras variáveis influentes na disputa presidencial de 2012, incluindo as mídias sociais e a aplicação de nova legislação eleitoral. São identificadas diferenças e semelhanças significativas entre eleitores hoje em contraste com as duas eleições anteriores e sugere-se padrões de longo prazo dentre eleitores mexicanos que deverão influenciar o comportamento eleitoral em eleições futuras, desde o regionalismo e o gênero, até o partidarismo e as mídias sociais.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Beatriz Magaloni , Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Party Survival and its Demise in Mexico (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Kenneth F. Greene , Why Dominant Parties Lose: Mexico's Democratization in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Brandon Rottinghaus and Irina Alberro , ‘Rivaling the PRI: The Image Management of Vicente Fox and the Use of Public Opinion Polling in the 2000 Mexican Election’, Latin American Politics and Society, 47: 2 (2005), pp. 143–58

Joseph L. Klesner , ‘Electoral Competition and the New Party System in Mexico’, Latin American Politics and Society, 47: 2 (2005), pp. 103–42

Russell Dalton and Steven Weldon , ‘Partisanship and Party System Institutionalization’, Party Politics, 13: 2 (2007), pp. 179–96

Carlos Moreno Jaimes , ‘Do Competitive Elections Produce Better-Quality Governments? Evidence from Mexican Municipalities, 1990–2000’, Latin American Research Review, 42: 2 (2007), pp. 136–53

María Braun , ‘Actitudes políticas de las mujeres en el Cono Sur’, Desarrollo Económico, 31: 4 (1992), p. 576

Kathleen Bruhn , ‘Whores and Lesbians: Political Activism, Party Strategies, and Gender Quotas in Mexico’, Electoral Studies, 22: 1 (2003), pp. 101–19

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Journal of Latin American Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-216X
  • EISSN: 1469-767X
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-latin-american-studies
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