Mexico elections: Will ‘El Bronco’ factor drive weary voters to the polls?

5/28/15 The Christian Science Monitor

nuevo_leonIndependents are eligible to run in all states for the first time in June 7 elections. The gubernatorial race [here] in the northern state of Nuevo León is heating up, with the first non-affiliated candidate, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, aka “El Bronco,” posing a formidable threat to the incumbent Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Mr. Rodríguez is polling first or second in a handful of surveys, underscoring widespread frustration with government corruption and leadership.

“In the past, Mexicans have said, ‘we get that politicians might not be honest, but we want ones who are effective,'” says Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. “Now, it seems as though there’s a sense that if you’re with a party, you’re part of the problem instead of the solution.” Still, independents are facing an uphill battle to finance their campaigns and reach voters, says Mr. Weldon. El Bronco’s campaign has relied heavily on social media, with catchy videos and chatty exchanges with constituents posted on Facebook and Twitter.

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