When La Jornada in July 1988 commissioned a poll on the upcoming presidential election, publication of electoral opinion polls was finally launched in Mexico—fifty-three years after it had formally begun in the United States. 1 This lengthy delay was mainly due to problems inherent in three traditions: political, economic, and educational. In regard to the first, Mario Vargas Llosa, the well-known Peruvian novelist (and former presidential candidate), labeled the Mexican political system “the perfect dictatorship”—a quality that made the development of election surveys irrelevant for many years. Second, Mexico’s economic protectionism produced little demand for the kind of market research that is characteristic of market economies. Third, an antiempirical and antiquantitative academic tradition retarded the teaching and use of survey methods in the social sciences. During the 1970s, moreover, the teaching of mathematics was attacked as reactionary and was eliminated from many political and social science departments in Mexican universities.