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Guadalupe Loaeza (1994) asked, “What could be worse, that there be fraud or that millions of Mexicans would vote for the PRI?” The Mexican public intellectual penned that devilish sentence in the immediate aftermath of Ernesto Zedillo’s election to the presidency in 1994, the first Mexican presidential election ever that even opposition analysts believed that the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, or Institutional Revolutionary Party) presidential candidate won. Critics in 1994 still believed that there were pockets of fraud committed during the election, but Mexico had already changed a great deal, enabling Zedillo to claim a more democratic mandate. Yet Loaeza gave voice to the disgust of many at the spectacle that so many Mexicans would vote for a party that, some changes notwithstanding, had governed Mexico in authoritarian fashion since 1929. In 2012, Enrique Peña Nieto led the PRI, after twelve years in the opposition , to win back the presidency and a plurality in both chambers of congress. Fraud had been remaindered as an issue of the past, thanks in particular to the establishment of the IFE (Instituto Federal Electoral, or Federal Electoral Institute ), which had toiled extensively and effectively to eliminate it starting in the 1997 midterm national legislative election (Eric Magar, chap. 3). Yet, as table 11.1 shows, in the 2012 presidential election, over eight million more voters cast their ballots for the PAN (Partido Acción Nacional, or National Action Party) candidate, Josefina Vázquez Mota, plus for the candidate of the PRD (Partido de la Revolución Democrática, or Party of the Democratic Revolution ) and its coalition, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, than they did for Peña Nieto, the candidate of the PRI. For these PAN and PRD supporters, echoes of Loaeza’s (1994) lament lingered. The 2012 supporters and participants of 11 Mexico’s 2012 Presidential Election Conclusions JORGE I. DOMÍNGUEZ Conclusions 253 the social media movement #YoSoy132 voiced some of this anger during the 2012 presidential campaign (Alejandro Díaz-Domínguez and Alejandro Moreno, chap. 10). Across the decades, a cultural—not just a political—rejection of the PRI was a key to some Mexicans’ civic self-identity. “And, upon waking up, the dinosaur was still there,” Lorenzo Meyer (1994), one of Mexico’s leading historians, commented on the 1994 presidential election , quoting from a micronovel by Augusto Monterroso, as Kathleen Bruhn opens chapter 2. Meyer voiced amazement at the sheer endurance of the PRI’s machine and its relentless capacity to win and win yet again, notwithstanding Mexico’s transformation over the previous six decades from a rural to an urban country and from a producer of primary products to an exporter of manufactures . The Soviet Union had collapsed. Mexico’s PRI had survived. But it survived just one more six-year presidential term. Vicente Fox in 2000 and Felipe Calderón in 2006, both heading the PAN, defeated the respective PRI presidential candidates Francisco Labastida and Roberto Madrazo. Disgusting to some, antediluvian to others, Mexico’s PRI had remained a successful and popular party even when its candidates lost presidential elections . As the electoral data in table 11.1 show, PRI candidates for the chamber of deputies outperformed the losing PRI presidential candidates in the 2000 and, markedly, 2006 presidential elections. In the elections for the chamber of deputies in 1997, 2000, 2003 (in alliance with the Green Ecologist Party, or Table 11.1. Votes cast in presidential and deputy elections for PAN, PRD, and PRI candidates (in millions of votes), 2000–2012 Election Party 2000 2003 2006 2009 2012 2012 Presidency PRI 13.58 9.30 19.16 16.35 Deputy PRI 13.80 9.28 11.68 12.81 15.96 Presidency PAN 15.99 15.00 12.73 12.73 Deputy PAN 14.32 8.22 13.85 9.71 12.96 Presidency PRD 6.26 14.76 15.85 11.12 Deputy PRD 6.98 4.71 12.01 4.23 9.19 Source: Index=0&bd55-s Note: For deputy elections, the reported votes are for the proportional-representation party lists. For 2003, 2009, and the second column of 2012, the votes are for each party standing alone. In the second column for 2012, coalition votes are allocated to parties according to Mexican federal electoral law. For 2000, 2006, and the first column of 2012, the votes are for the coalition for both presidential and deputy elections, attributing the votes to...


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