Blue State, Red State, Mexican Style

Not surprisingly, Mexico has its own geographic polarization. John Fund has a nice summary of this at Opinionjournal's Political Diary:

The results, which will no doubt be contested, paint a fascinating picture of a Mexico split between a modern northern half that has benefited from the free-trade agreement with the U.S., and a Mexico in the south that remains largely poor and wedded to the tradition of support from the state. In some ways, it's Mexico own version of blue and red states.

In the states that are closest to the U.S. border, Mr. Calderon won a smashing 47% to 22% victory. At the same time Mr. Lopez Obrador, a former firebrand mayor of Mexico City, won his home base by 49% to 32%. A critical swing area proved to be the fast-growing Yucatan states, which so many Americans are familiar with for having vacationed in Cancun and Cozumel. Although located in the south, that area went for Mr. Calderon by about 200,000 -- precisely his nationwide margin.

The sore losers in Mr. Lopez Obrador camps, along with his U.S. sympathizers, will claim their man's loss is a defeat for Mexico's poor. But that's not what the exit polls show. Among the poorest fifth of Mexicans, Mr. Lopez Obrador only won by 34% to 31% over Mr. Calderon, with the remainder of the vote going to a candidate from the once-dominant PRI party. Many poor Mexicans warmed to Mr. Calderon's calls to open up the economy and rejected Mr. Lopez Obrador's promises of state pensions for all those over age 70. Conversely, while Mr. Calderon carried the top fifth of Mexican income earners, his victory was only by a margin of 50% to 30%. "Many public-sector and university graduates with high incomes supported Lopez Obrador out of some combination of economic interest and leftist conviction," says Michael Barone, the author of the Almanac of American Politics, who is reporting from Mexico.


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