May 19, 2006

Mexican conservative leads new presidential poll

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Conservative ruling party candidate
Felipe Calderon has a 5 point lead in Mexico's presidential
race, Zogby International polling firm said on Friday.

The poll, carried out with the University of Miami School
of Communication, showed Calderon with 38 percent support
before the July 2 election, and his leftist rival Andres Manuel
Lopez Obrador trailed with 33 percent.

It was Zogby's first poll on the election race and was in
line with others, although Calderon's lead has ranged from 1 to
10 percentage points. The conservative former energy minister
trailed Lopez Obrador for months but has surged in recent polls
after launching an effective campaign of negative television

The Zogby poll results were based on respondents who had
decided who to vote for and were likely to go to the polls.

Calderon is the candidate of Mexico's ruling National
Action Party and is promising to maintain the fiscal discipline
and pro-market policies of President Vicente Fox, who is barred
under Mexican law from seeking reelection.

Lopez Obrador, a former mayor of Mexico City, vows an end
to free market reforms and wants to attack widespread poverty
with ambitious infrastructure and social welfare programs.