If Mexico’s Ruling Party Can’t Win Here, It’s Probably Doomed

BloombergWalk through the town of Atlacomulco and you’re quite likely to bump into a relative of a Mexican president or a schoolmate of a state governor, possibly on a street named after one of them.

The hometown of so many big shots from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has also been the safest of safe seats—until now. With a regional election days away, some diehard supporters here are wavering. That could spell even bigger trouble for the party in next year’s presidential contest. And Mexico has a surging populist movement that’s ready to seize on any weakness.

If the whole of Mexico State and the country looked like the center of Atlacomulco, a town of some 20,000 people where neatly trimmed trees line the newly paved sidewalks, you’d think President Enrique Pena Nieto’s party would be cruising to victory in both elections—as it usually does. In nine decades, the PRI has never lost control of Mexico State, the country’s most populous, which elects a governor on June 4. For the vast majority of that period, it’s ruled the rest of Mexico, too, lately along pro-U.S. and market-friendly lines. …



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