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MEXICO CITY –  In an election many Mexicans hope will be a turning point for a country beset by decades of corruption, violence and enduring poverty, voters turned to a left-wing populist some supporters refer to as a “messiah.” A savior from the two major parties that have failed to deliver on promises of reform, in the eyes of many voters.

For months, polls predicted Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a 64-year-old two-time presidential runner up, would win the election by a landslide. When the National Elections Institute announced preliminary results Sunday, authorities predicted he would win with between 53 percent and 53.8 percent of the vote, a remarkable margin not seen in the country for many years.

The article goes on to state the following:

Why does the president of Mexico matter? The U.S. shares a 2,000-mile border. Mexico has the second-largest economy in Latin America, it’s the third-largest trading partner of the U.S. and a major oil exporter, and it plays a key role in two of America’s most intractable problems, immigration and drugs. Militarily, the two countries share intelligence on terrorism and security and historically Mexico played a mediating influence and bulwark against Latin America’s more radical regimes. Its 6 million illegal workers and millions more immigrants provide the backbone of America’s agricultural and service industries, from the kitchens of New York City to hotel rooms in Chicago.

“Out of all the candidates, Andres Manuel is probably the least enthusiastic about the bilateral relationship with the U.S., but he recognizes that the relationship with the U.S. is fundamentally important,” said Duncan Wood with the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center. “His election is going to make life more complicated for the United States, let’s put it like that.”

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