A good sign for Texas Republicans?
For at least two decades, Mexican pundits had forecast that the millions of Mexican voters in the U.S. could decide Mexico's elections. Such expectations were substantially lowered earlier this year when Mexican electoral authorities and the Mexican Congress, fearful of the possible logistical nightmare of counting millions of ballots cast abroad, limited eligible voters to the 4 million Mexican citizens who were already registered. If 400,000 of them voted, these officials said, they would declare their experiment in getting Mexicans abroad to cast ballots a complete success.Such a small number to have voted, but definitely a good sign for Republicans that Calderon was such an overwhelming victor. It's particularly surprising because, as I understand it, the majority of Mexican immigrants are supposed to come from poor and left-leaning states. Of course, the sample might not be representative, but on the whole it's more likely a portent of good things to come for Republicans.
The pundits not only badly misjudged how many Mexicans in the United States would turn out, they were wrong about who those voters would pick.
Beginning in the 1980s with Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, founder of the Democratic Revolution Party and a former presidential candidate, the Mexican left believed that the Mexican diaspora would be its natural constituency. After all, these Mexicans left their country because of its failure to provide them with jobs and a decent standard of living. Give them an opportunity to vote and they would vote for the radical change called for by the left.
As it turned out, of the 28,000 in the U.S. who cast presidential ballots, 58% voted for Felipe Calderon, the conservative candidate — and declared winner — who fervently favors free market economics.
Maybe if more Mexican expats had voted in 88, then Salinas' PRI wouldn't have had to steal the election from the PRD and Cardenas.
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