Mexican students tweet for candidate

June 30, 2012 at 5:36 PM
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MEXICO CITY, June 30 (UPI) -- Students and other young people in Mexico appear to have become engaged in the presidential race through Twitter and other social media, experts say.

Their involvement is not expected to affect the outcome of Sunday's vote, The Wall Street Journal reported. Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, usually known by the acronym PRI, is leading his closest rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, by 15 percentage points.

Roy Campos, head of the Mitofsky polling company, believes the activity by young voters, most of them Lopez Obrador supporters, is laying the groundwork for future elections.

"If social media did not exist in this election, it would have been very boring because there have been no big errors, nothing in political spots or debates to awaken much interest among voters," Campos said.

A Twitter movement using the hashtag #yosoy132 was inspired by a YouTube video made by 131 students with the title "Yo Soy 131." One #yosoy132 account has 80,000 followers and there are several dozen more.

The PRI governed Mexico as a one-party state from 1921 to 2000, when it was ousted by the National Action Party, or PAN. But President Felipe Calderon's use of the military against drug cartels, triggering a deadly response, has angered many in Mexico, and the Pan candidate, Josefina Vazquez Mota, is running 5 percentage points behind Lopez Obrador.

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