Excélsior's populómetro offered a measure of the popularity of various PAN heavyweights yesterday, concluding (and not for the first time) that Margarita Zavala is the best liked panista. Following Zavala were Senate leader Gustavo Madero, Calderón, Fernando Gómez Mont and Josefina Vázquez Mota. Using Excélsior's combined formula (which weighs personal popularity against fame), Calderón stands at the top of the list, followed by Santiago Creel, Zavala, Vázquez Mota, Gómez Mont, Madero, Labor Secretary Javier Lozano, former interior secretary and new Deputy Francisco Ramírez Acuña, and new PAN chief César Nava.
A couple of quick items: Nava stands ahead of his predecessor Germán Martínez's position in the previous PAN populómetro. That's a greater indication of Martínez's grating style than anything positive that Nava has done, but it's worth noting. Also, Creel's high position is far more indicative of name recognition than popularity; for panistas thinking that his number two spot should make him a presidential favorite, the fact that he ranks ninth in terms of personal popularity should be a giant red flag. I guess Creel would be a reasonable sacrificial lamb in an election whose circumstances won't favor the PAN in 2012, insofar as he is a respected figure that won't single-handedly sink the party. But if the goal is to win, Creel would be a disaster for the PAN.