May 14, 2018 / 12:16 PM / in 8 days

Mexican leftist Lopez Obrador opens 20-point lead in presidential poll

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican leftist presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has maintained the leading position in the race to win the July election, opening a 20-point lead ahead of his nearest competitor, a poll by newspaper El Financiero showed on Monday.

Leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) speaks during the "Dialogue for Peace and Justice" at the Museum of Memory and Tolerance in Mexico City, Mexico May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Gustavo Graf

Lopez Obrador, the former Mexico City mayor, is the first choice of 46 percent of voters surveyed while his nearest rival, Ricardo Anaya, who heads a right-left coalition, has 26 percent support.

The result marks slight growth for both Lopez Obrador and Anaya compared to a March survey by El Financiero, while it showed a 4-point decline for Jose Antonio Meade, the candidate of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), who comes in with just 20 percent support.

The survey was conducted between April 26 and May 2 and based on 1,000 in-person interviews with voters, with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

The poll’s results stripped out the 38 percent of respondents who said they were undecided in the five-candidate field.

In his third consecutive bid to win the presidency, Lopez Obrador, 64, has capitalized on widespread disenchantment with the PRI over political corruption, rising levels of violence and sluggish economic growth.

The survey showed independent candidate Margarita Zavala, wife of former President Felipe Calderon, at 5 percent.

Meanwhile, support for the former governor of the state of Nuevo Leon, Jaime Rodriguez Calderon, another independent hopeful, stood at 3 percent.

Reporting by David Alire Garcia, Editing by Franklin Paul and Nick Zieminski

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