A much-watched debate fails to shake the front-runner
Jun 16th 2012 | MEXICO CITY
THE first of Mexico's presidential debates, aired last month, was snubbed by one television network in favour of a football match. The second and final one, broadcast on June 10th, attracted more viewers than any previous debate in Mexican history, as 15m tuned in at home and thousands crowded around giant screens in public squares. The election may be a done deal, according to most pollsters, but a somnolent campaign has at last come to life.
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None of the candidates landed a knockout punch in the more than two hours the debate lasted. Enrique Peña Nieto, who leads most polls by around ten points, tried to remain above the fray. Rather than attacking his rivals, he took the opportunity to outline his policy pitch of “effective government”. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a populist leftist, improved on a slightly rambling performance in the previous debate, but did not seem to do much damage to Mr Peña.