Saturday, April 08, 2006


Of the course of the past week Ultimas Noticias has given some new polling data on President Chavez that gives him some truly unbelievable numbers. The numbers, from polling done by the Datos firm, speak for themselves so I’ll jump right in.

For starters Chavez’s approval rating as president is 83.1%. The components of that are 22.9% who thing he is ok to good, 41% who think he is good, and 18.4% who think he is excellent. I think this 83% approval even tops his numbers from when he was first running for president.

15.8% have an unfavorable view of his performance. 5.7% think he has been ok to bad, 5.5% think his performance is bad, and 4.6% think he has been terrible.

So the bottom line is 83% think favorably of him while 16% think unfavorably of him. I doubt there isn’t a politician the world over who wouldn’t do anything to have numbers like that (no wonder half of Latin America is falling over itself to befriend and imitate Chavez).

When it comes to political parties 40.2% say they support the MVR (Chavez’s political party) while the most popular opposition party, Primero Justicia is backed by only 7.7% followed by other opposition parties such as Accion Democratica with 3.2%, Proyecto Venezuela with 3.1% and Copei with 1.9%. A full 30% don’t support any party.

Given that the country is only about 8 months away from presidential elections the opposition can’t take any consolation from any of these numbers. Barring the biggest political comeback of all time Chavez seems to be headed for re-election by a large margin.

The poll also touched some other subjects of interest. For example there has been much discussion about a possible reform to the constitution to allow the president to be re-elected indefinitely. A majority of Venezuelans oppose such a reform, 42.8%, with 39% backing allowing presidents to run an unlimited number of times. Clearly even many Chavez supporters think his time in office should be limited (count me amongst that group).

These numbers did get broken down by social group which was interesting. For example, social class D – those just above being considered poor – were evenly split on this issued with 45.2% in favor of unlimited re-elections while 45.9% opposed it. But in social class E – the poorest Venezuelans – 47.2% favor unlimited re-elections while only 36.3% oppose it. Clearly the poor would like Chavez to stay around a long time.

On the topic of corruption 72.6% think there is a lot of corruption in Venezuela. Most Venezuelans also think the government is taking insufficient action against corruption. 41.5% think the government is fighting hard against corruption, 34.5% think it is doing little about it, and 19% think it is doing absolutely nothing about it. So while the great majority of Venezuelans approve of the job that Chavez is doing there is definitely room for improvement on individual issues like corruption.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?