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1 of 3. Former Mexico state governor Enrique Pena Nieto, a potential presidential candidate for the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), speaks during a Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce, Mexico (Concanaco) event in Mexico City in this November 25, 2011 file photo.
Credit: Reuters/Henry Romero/Files
MEXICO CITY |
Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:23pm EDT
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican presidential front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto has a 10-percentage point lead over his closest rival ahead of the election campaign that officially starts on Friday, a public opinion poll showed.
Pena Nieto, of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has 36 percent backing, while Josefina Vazquez Mota of President Felipe Calderon's conservative National Action Party (PAN) is second with 26 percent, the survey by newspaper Reforma said on Wednesday.
Mexico will elect a new president on July 1.
Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who narrowly lost the 2006 election to Calderon, was third with 18 percent, according to the poll.
The PRI, which ruled Mexico for seven decades until 2000, is hoping the telegenic Pena Nieto can return the party to office, 12 years after it was ousted by the PAN.
The poll is the first the paper has published since the candidate line-up for the main parties was finalized in February.
Pena Nieto has led opinion polls for months and Vazquez Mota is struggling to make headway against him partly due to disputes within her party.
One in five voters did not express a preference or said they did not plan to support any of the candidates.
A Reforma poll published in December measured support only for the three main parties.
At the time, support for the PRI stood at 41 percent, the PAN at 33 percent, and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) at 16 percent.
The poll was conducted March 22-26 and surveyed 1,343 registered voters. The margin of error was 2.7 percentage points, the newspaper said.
(Reporting by Dave Graham and David Alire Garcia; Editing by Xavier Briand)
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