Can a woman candidate count on female voters’ support?
Feb 11th 2012 | MEXICO CITY
UNTIL this year, no woman had ever been the presidential candidate for any of Mexico’s main political parties. That changed on February 5th, when Josefina Vázquez Mota, a former secretary of education and of social development, won the primary of the conservative National Action Party (PAN). “I will be Mexico’s first presidenta” (female president), she said in her victory speech.
Ms Vázquez is a clear underdog in the July 1st election. Polls taken before the primary put the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) nearly 20 points ahead of the ruling PAN (see chart). Voters have tired of the PAN, which has presided over slow growth and rising violence during 11 years in power. Ms Vázquez could even finish third behind Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, a left-winger who narrowly lost the 2006 race.