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Elite Polarization Meets Mass Moderation in Mexico's 2006 Elections

  • Kathleen Bruhn (a1) and Kenneth F. Greene (a2)

Extract

Even before the 2006 presidential election dissolved into a nasty street battle, it was widely perceived as strongly polarized. The two leading candidates, Felipe Calderón of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) and Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the leftwing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), staked out starkly different positions on key economic issues. Calderón promised continuity with Mexico's free-market reforms, focusing on investment as the engine of growth. López Obrador, in contrast, argued that the neoliberal strategy would benefit only a few and he instead promised to alleviate poverty through state spending on infrastructure and social welfare. Unlike in prior presidential elections where the PAN and PRD candidates downplayed their differences to challenge the authoritarian dominant PRI with broad pro-democracy appeals, in this first post-transition election, the candidates made their differences clear.

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Elite Polarization Meets Mass Moderation in Mexico's 2006 Elections

  • Kathleen Bruhn (a1) and Kenneth F. Greene (a2)

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