Elections in the State of Mexico: what is at stake? 3:12
(CNN Spanish) -- The June 4 elections in the State of Mexico summon the entity with the largest electoral roll in the country to define a new governor, something unprecedented.
There are 12,676,625 citizens eligible to vote in the elections, according to the National Electoral Institute (INE).
The candidates for governor of the State of Mexico are Delfina Gómez —from the allied candidacy of the Morena, PT and PVEM parties— and Alejandra del Moral, from the Va por el Estado de México coalition of the PAN, PRI, PRD and Nueva Alianza Estado de México parties.
- Who is Alejandra del Moral, the candidate of the Va por México coalition
- Who is Delfina Gómez, Morena's candidate for governor of the State of Mexico
This election is not only seen as a statewide process, but as a barometer of voters' possible preferences toward the 2024 presidential election.
The power of the State of Mexico
The State of Mexico is the federal entity with the largest number of inhabitants in the country, 16.9 million, according to 2020 figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). With an electoral roll of 12.6 million, the weight of voting in the State of Mexico is significant.
To exemplify its size, this is roughly equivalent to the total number of inhabitants of El Salvador and Nicaragua combined.
"It is 60% of the electoral roll of all Central America, it is also the electoral roll equivalent to Chile and it is larger than Uruguay and Paraguay combined. We are talking about a very large mass of votes," Bernardo Barranco, a political analyst and former electoral adviser for the State of Mexico, told CNN.
Due to its electoral size, the State of Mexico is in turn a fundamental space to measure the power of the parties. "It is the main breadbasket of votes at the national level, for both the PRI and the PAN here they have the largest number of votes at the national level. For Morena, here it also has the first or second place in number of votes at the national level," explains Professor Juan Carlos Villarreal Martínez, from the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico.
Therefore, analysts believe that what happens in the elections in the State of Mexico could be a laboratory for the presidential elections of 2024.
"This percentage (of the State of Mexico) may be an ultimate orientation prior to the elections of the 24th, which are presidential elections," says Barranco.
"Whoever intends to achieve a good result in next year's elections has to win the State of Mexico. In the case of Morena, not only would it reach 23 governorships but it would govern more than 60% of the nominal list, "says the academic Villarreal. "For the coalition of Vamos por el Estado de México, winning it is vital to arrive in better conditions to compete in 2024."
The Political Configuration: The PRI's Last Bastion?
The state has 94 years of governments headed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI.
Barranco told CNN this is a crucial point about the election.
The sociologist explains that the PRI had in the State of Mexico "the largest and most powerful bastion, because it has in there the most powerful political group in the country, which is the Atlacomulco Group."
Barranco told Carmen Aristegui that the PRI "has been losing territory since 2015, and this is the last one it has left."
That is why the possibility of the party losing power in this state is significant, says the analyst. "First, it also reflects the decline of the PRI, which in the twentieth century dominated the country's political life in an authoritarian manner."
"For many parties it is losing the State of Mexico, for the PRI it is entering a process of agony because there would be no way of where to do it."
The participation factor
In 2017, only about 53% of the state's voters turned out to vote, so if the trend continues, the most populated places with the highest participation can determine the election.
Professor Villarreal assures that the weight falls on the voters of 10 of the 125 municipalities that the state has, since 50% of the votes are concentrated there.
"In the case of the PRI/PAN/PRD coalition, we can locate that, starting with Cuatitlán Izcalli, Atizapán, Naucalpan, Tlanepantla, all of which are in the urban corridor, and Toluca, which is the state capital and which provides the largest number of hard votes for the PRI."
"And then, in the other group, there is Ecatepec, there is Nezahualcóyotl, there is Texcoco, Chimalhuacán, Valle de Chalco, those other five that Morena won, and that in all the survey works that have been published are very reiterative."
With information from Rey Rodríguez, Krupskaia Alís, Uriel Blanco and Carmen Aristegui.
Elections in MexicoState of Mexico