April 11, 2012 / 4:12 AM / in 6 years

Mexico ruling party hopeful slips in presidential race: poll

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s ruling party presidential candidate is losing support and in danger of slipping into third place in the polls ahead of the July 1 election, according to a daily survey by GEA-ISA for Milenio news network released late on Tuesday.

The latest opinion poll for the election showed Josefina Vazquez Mota, the candidate of President Felipe Calderon’s conservative National Action Party (PAN), with 18 percent support, down 1 percentage point from the previous survey.

It was her worst showing since the poll began some three weeks ago. Leftist hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the candidate of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), registered 16.5 percent support, up 1.3 points from the prior poll. He narrowly lost to Calderon in the 2006 election.

Vazquez Mota’s bid for the presidency has been dogged by infighting within the PAN, defections from the party, and a steady stream of mishaps on the campaign trial that prompted the candidate to overhaul her election team this week.

The margin of error in the survey was 3 points, the pollster said, meaning there was little to choose between Vazquez Mota and Lopez Obrador in terms of support. The pollster conducted 1,152 face-to-face interviews for the survey.

Front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto, of the opposition ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, had 40.1 percent support, gaining 2 points compared to the previous poll.

In the survey, 24.7 percent of voters were undecided or expressed no preference. That put Pena Nieto at 53.2 percent support among those backing a specific candidate, giving him a lead of almost 30 points over both of his rivals.

Reporting By Ioan Grillo; Editing by Paul Simao

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