Leftist Mexican presidential candidate rises in poll

Reuters News
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Posted: May 14, 2012 6:38 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Leftist Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has moved up into a second-place tie in the latest voter survey by pollster BGC, but front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto maintains a large lead.

With seven weeks to go until the July 1 election, Lopez Obrador, the 2006 runner-up, rose 3 percentage points to 26 percent, according to the poll for Monday's edition of newspaper Excelsior, which BGC published on its website on Sunday.

The first survey by BGC since last Sunday's televised debate between the presidential contenders showed Josefina Vazquez Mota, of President Felipe Calderon's National Action Party (PAN), slipping 2 points to 26 percent.

Both remained far behind hot favorite Pena Nieto, candidate of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI, who dipped 2 points to 45 percent, BGC said.

Pena Nieto's debating skills had been seen as a potential liability ahead of the debate, but analysts said he held his own. Initial opinion polls after the showdown suggested Lopez Obrador had performed better than Vazquez Mota in the exchanges.

BGC interviewed 1,200 eligible voters between May 7 and 9 for the survey. The margin of error was 2.9 percentage points, it said.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; editing by Mohammad Zargham)