“The upcoming elections are the largest in Mexico’s history, given the number of officials who will be elected—500 federal deputies and more than 19,000 state and local authorities. According to the national electoral authority (INE), there are 94 million registered voters in Mexico. While midterm elections tend to have lower voter participation, this time we can anticipate a more than 50 percent participation at the polls. This is a critical election for the remaining three years of President López Obrador’s administration and particularly for the future of his ‘fourth transformation,’ leftist, populist agenda. While recent polls show his popularity is high and Morena candidates leading in many areas of the country, the poor handling of the COVID-19 crisis and the dire economic scenario—including a deteriorating business climate and escalating crime—gives the opposition coalition a chance to surprise many in the election outcome. The final days of the campaign will be critical. If polls show Morena losing López Obrador might sharpen his rhetoric against the opposition, including a last-minute arrest or scandal. His government could
alter the COVID-19 stoplight system to avoid a high voter turnout and discredit the electoral authority and the final results, which could also include post-election civil unrest. At this point, it is unlikely that his party and coalition will win the majority he needs in Congress to make additional reforms to the constitution and to continue to erode the country’s young democracy and institutions.”