Mexicans vote today in a potentially transformative election that could put in power a firebrand vowing to end politics and business as usual in a country weary of spiraling violence, unchecked corruption and scandal-plagued politicians.
But his rivals warn that a victory by leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador could set the country back decades with an interventionist economic policy and are also promising to fight corruption and bring change to Mexico.
All the candidates are lambasting President Donald Trump's policies against illegal immigrants and Mexico.
Lopez Obrador has trodden carefully and wants to broker a deal with Trump under which Mexico would work to rein in illegal immigration in return for economic support.
Sunday's elections for posts at every level of government are Mexico's largest ever and have become a referendum on corruption, graft and other tricks used to divert taxpayer money to officials' pockets and empty those of the country's poor.
Presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador waves to supporters at his closing campaign rally in Mexico City
Independent presidential candidate Jaime Rodriguez, known as 'El Bronco,' arrives for the first of three debates among Mexico's presidential candidates in Mexico City
A woman walks past a campaign painting for Jose Antonio Meade, the presidential candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), in Piedras Negras, Mexico yesterday
This is Lopez Obrador's third bid for the presidency and some see it as his best shot after 12 years of near-permanent campaigning.
If victorious, Lopez Obrador faces a tougher security situation than did President Enrique Pena Nieto. The election campaign has been the bloodiest in recent history and murders are at record highs.
His railing against the 'mafia of power' that has long ruled Mexico and in favor of the poor appears to be falling on receptive ears with polls showing him with a wide lead over three rivals who have failed to ignite voters' interest.
'The corrupt regime is coming to its end,' Lopez Obrador, a 64-year-old commonly known as AMLO, said at his final campaign event Wednesday.
'We represent modernity forged from below.'
Much of the popular ire has been aimed at unpopular Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party.
Its candidate, Jose Antonio Meade, failed to gain traction with voters who would not give him the benefit of the doubt in spite of his ample resume in government and being an outsider