September 7, 2016

Political Thermometer


 

The worst losses are those in the political arena.  Few politicians are able to come back after a loss.  Historically, the most famous comebacks after a political loss were staged by the likes of Churchill and Nixon.  After the defeat of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the June elections, their former leader, Manlio Fabio Beltrones, stated that losses do not endure forever, in the same way that no victory is eternal.  Days after, he resigned and was replaced by Enrique Ochoa, a young and well known politician educated in U.S. and Mexican universities.  Ochoa has an impressive resume, so much so that he co-authored a book with Joseph Stiglitz, the famous economist who was awarded a Nobel Prize for his studies on market analysis. Stiglitz was Ochoa’s professor at Columbia University.  Now at the head of the PRI, Ochoa has announced that the party will recover and has commenced significant activities throughout the country in preparation for the 2017 elections for the governors of the states of Nayarit, Coahuila and Mexico State.  These three states have always been governed by the PRI.  A loss, specifically in Mexico State (the most important state in the country from a political and economic perspective), would be a blow to the PRI and a difficult pill to swallow leading up the 2018 presidential election.  On the other hand, if the PRI is able to win the election for governor in such states, this would be a strong indication that it can keep its hold on the presidency.  Nevertheless, the PRI is at the mercy of the support for President Peña Nieto’s administration, which approval rating has been on the decline.  This means that the results of the 2018 election will depend in large part on the country’s overall perspective of the current administration’s performance.