The time for bottle caps is running out. In a few days one of them will be selected with the position of Coordinator of the defense committees of the fourth transformation, the prelude to the presidential candidacy of Morena and her allies for 2024.
But the process has not been smooth. The accusations of some players, especially Marcelo Ebrard, have raised doubts about the survey method as a selection mechanism, and that may eventually call into question the legitimacy of whoever is the selected corcholata.
The use of surveys as a selection mechanism has some advantages but many disadvantages, and I am not referring to the scientific, technical or statistical aspects, but to those that are political in nature.
The survey as a method of selecting candidacies can be a centralized political decision mechanism with a methodological and democratic façade.
What the journalistic polls say
Throughout several months, the national surveys that have been carried out by EL FINANCIERO have recorded citizen preferences for those who aspire to lead the 4T in the presidential election.
Most of the time, Claudia Sheinbaum has held the lead, leading Marcelo Ebrard by 10 points in the most recent poll conducted in August, giving them 32 and 22 percent support, respectively.
Adán Augusto López has consistently maintained third place, with support that has fluctuated between 10 and 15 percent since last January. The August poll recorded him at 12 percent.
The other three contenders, Gerardo Fernández Noroña, Ricardo Monreal and Manuel Velasco, appear a little further behind.
Differentiated support for corcholatas
According to EL FINANCIERO surveys carried out in the month of July, which included a total of 2,400 telephone interviews, Sheinbaum has almost twice as much support as Ebrard among people who approve of the work of President López Obrador. In contrast, the former Chancellor has a slight advantage among those who disapprove of the President’s work.
On the other hand, Sheinbaum has greater support among people who identify as morenistas, while Ebrard has more “drag” among opposition followers.
This suggests that in the internal contest, Ebrard, as he himself has stated, has more support among detractors of the 4T. Sheinbaum has more obradorista support.
The differences in support for the two corcholatas that lead the journalistic polls remind us of what happened in that PRI primary election in 1999, when the leaders, Francisco Labastida and Roberto Madrazo, divided their support in a similar way: Labastida attracted the vote supporter of the PRI, while Madrazo attracted supporters of the opposition. In the end, the election was won by Labastida 2-1.
All these journalistic surveys try to measure the support of the bottle caps with a question that is as direct and clear as possible: “Who do you prefer for the Morena-PVEM-PT candidacy for President in 2024?”
But the fact is that Morena has not revealed what will be asked in her survey, including the “mirror” polls that will be carried out by four organizations, whose identity will not be known until the results are announced.
In the absence of a clear and transparent metric so far, Morena’s surveys could ultimately yield discrepant data from what we are seeing in journalistic surveys.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the underlying issue of partisan polls is not scientific or methodological, but political. On the one hand, the insistence that there be mirror surveys that validate each other reflects the distrust that has been held in them from the beginning and that has not been able to diminish.
On the other hand, the surveys that parties use to select their candidates tend to be opaque and respond to a logic not of democratic selection but of political control. These are exercises that, more than empowering citizens, maintain control within party leadership.
The polls of the Front
In the Frente Amplio the acceptance of the results of surveys has been relatively velvety, not so much because of the transparent management of these but to send a message of unity. At least that’s how Enrique de la Madrid’s acceptance of the results seemed.
For now it is already taken for granted, but seeing Beatriz Paredes in second place in the FAM survey raised eyebrows here and there. Previously published journalistic surveys had not detected that level of support for the PRI senator. Regarding the decline of Santiago Creel, the deputy did not wait for results from any official survey, but rather it is seen as a decision not to divide the preferences of PAN sympathizers before a third party that was made up of two blue and white options and one red. This reflects the political agreement, rather than the acceptance of solid methodologies and reliable results. Yesterday, the PRI reported its support for Gálvez as the sole candidate to coordinate the Broad Front for Mexico, which would leave the PRI member, Beatriz Paredes, out of the race, who was at the bottom of the polls published this Wednesday, August 30.
And after the surveys what?
The first Broad Front survey included 3 thousand telephone interviews and 3 thousand in housing, giving more weight to the latter without further explanation or technical justification of why it was done this way. However, after the announcement, months for later become a candidate for the Presidency and compete against Morena and alliesas well as against the Citizen Movement.
We do not yet know how many total interviews the Morena polls will have, but assuming that each of the five pollsters conducts 3,000 interviews, that would yield a total of 15,000 interviewees.
That is the number of Mexicans, contacted through the survey, who will decide who the winning corcholata is. At first it does not seem to be the most democratic, nor the most inclusive, nor the most legitimizing mechanism, but it is what it is.
If suspicions prevail among the corcholatas themselves and recognition is not granted by any of those who are selected, the legitimacy of the presidential candidacy could be called into question, and the possibility of fracture would be greater.
If the race turns out to be closer than what newspaper polls show so far, the result could become more complicated.
Conveniently, the results of the partisan selection polls have shown differences between first and second place in such a way that there are no elements to question them. But that, as I said at the beginning, seems a more political issue than a technical one.
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