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Although Ernesto Cordero moved up significantly in National Action Party voter preferences, Josefina Vázquez Mota still won a convincing majority of votes Sunday to become the PAN's presidential nominee for the July 1 election. The former education minister gained around 55% of the more than 500,000 votes cast in the PAN primary.
A fierce campaign in Cordero's favor during the last weeks of the PAN nomination process helped Cordero take a major slice out of the Santiago Creel vote and perhaps a little bit of Vázquez Mota's. In the end, it was not nearly enough. Cordero and Creel came to PAN headquarters in Mexico City to raise their hands with hers. President Felipe Calderón and his wife, Margarita Zavala, also met with Vázaquez Mota. Cordero, a former finance minister, was seen as Calderón's candidate.
Story, La Crónica. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Vázquez Mota, 51, still trails Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto by a wide margin in polls for the general election.
In Baja California, Vázquez Mota won 6,399 (66.6%) of the 9,601 votes cast. Cordero won 1,878 (19.6%) and Creel 1,272 (13.2%). There were 52 invalid votes. Story, Voz de la Frontera. In Tijuana, she won 2,685 to 554 for Creel and 514 for Cordero. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Feb. 7: Vazquez Mota won in 24 states and Mexico City. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Analysts told the New York Times that the National Action Party's nomination of a woman for president could help the party take advantage of the increasing power of women in Mexican politics. Story, New York Times.
The paper said women hold 148 seats, or nearly 30%, in the Chamber of Deputies, up from 116 five years ago. It said women hold 29 seats, or 23%, in the Senate, up from 22 in 2006. It said five women have been elected governors. (However, female candidates for governor have had a hard time lately.)
The paper said officials with the Institutional Revolutionary Party and the Democratic Revolution Party feared that she could capitalize on the female vote. However, publicly, PRI and PRD officials said her record, and that of President Felipe Calderón, was not something to be feared. Last month's Mitofsky poll put the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto at 41% to 23% for Vázquez Mota and 18% for the PRD's Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Columnist Sergio Sarmiento said he worries that Vázquez Mota is too much talk and too little action, but noted that a year ago, PAN presidential hopeful Santiago Creel held a similar lead over her. Sarmiento's column (PDF). PANistas are hoping that Peña Nieto's recent admission of fathering two children out of wedlock and a bump from Vázquez Mota's winning the PAN nomination will put her within striking distance of him.
On Monday, Vázquez Mota said Mexico, like many other nations in Latin America, is now ready for a woman to be president. Story, Frontera (PDF). Last month, a former president of the PAN in Tijuana said men have not governed well and it is time for a woman to come in and clean things up.
Update, Feb. 9, 2011: Columnist Leo Zuckermann analyzes where Cordero won and lost. The only states he won that are governed by the PAN were Baja California Sur and Sonora, by a 2-to-1 ratio. He lost in Guanajuato, where the PAN-led government was expected to give him major support. He also won in Pueba, governed by a coalition, and in Chiapas, also by a 2-to-1 ratio.
Vázquez Mota is scheduled to speak at Municipal Auditorium in Tijuana at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13. Last item on political page, Frontera (PDF).