"2018 provides a bold test of voter discontent as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Venezuela are all scheduled to go to the polls."
Latin Americans are fed up with politics as usual. At the end of 2017, presidential approval ratings in the largest countries are dismal with Brazil's Michel Temer leading the race to the bottom at 6%. Over the last three to four years, the region's political leaders have been frequently embarrassed by their actions and words, recorded and broadcast on cellphones and social media in this new era of digital democracy. Many believed that Latin American voters were numb to corruption, but after so many grievous acts were paraded in the public spotlight, polls are showing otherwise.
2018 provides a bold test of voter discontent as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Venezuela are all scheduled to go to the polls.
Change will come to the region but not as a simplistic pendulum swing.
In Mexico, voters are predicted to choose Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) but not to embrace greater government intervention. AMLO has the chance to win because Mexico has no second round of voting, his opponents are laden with greater flaws than he, and AMLO is the most recognized and likeable candidate.
In Colombia, voter intention remains divided across a spectrum of some eight candidates ranging from middle left to middle right.
The winning President is likely to be the one who brings the most credible plan to set the economy right. In Brazil, the most viable candidate, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was sentenced in July 2017 to 10 years imprisonment for corruption. If his appeals are denied, he cannot run again for office. That leaves open a wide field and an angry...