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President Lopez Obrador President Lopez Obrador at an event in Veracruz earlier this month. Presidencia

AMLO maintains strong approval rating but insecurity is a worry for many

In a new survey, the majority of those who support the president cite his efforts to combat poverty

A strong majority of Mexicans continue to approve of President López Obrador’s performance but many are worried about insecurity, a new poll indicates.

A national survey conducted for the newspaper El Universal by the polling firm Buendía & Márquez found a 63% approval rating for AMLO, who has now been in office for 3 1/2 years.

In El Universal polls carried out every three months since early 2019, the president’s approval rating has only dipped below 60% twice: once in May 2020 when Mexico was in a loose lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and again three months later. It peaked at 85% three months after López Obrador took office.

His current approval rating —as Mexico’s faces high inflation, high interest rates and ongoing security issues — is 2% lower than it was in February. One-third of 1,000 respondents said they disapproved of the president’s performance.

A robber caught on camera threatening passengers on a bus in Hidalgo. Only 46% of poll respondents gave López Obrador high marks for combatting insecurity. Internet

Among those who approved of AMLO’s performance, the most commonly cited reason for that position was his efforts to combat poverty, including through the government’s social programs. The second most commonly cited reason was simply that he does good work and gets results.

Only a very small number of respondents cited his personal attributes, large-scale infrastructure projects such as the Maya Train, Felipe Ángeles International Airport and the Dos Bocas refinery, the economy and efforts to combat corruption.

Among those who disapproved of AMLO’s performance, the most commonly cited reason was that he does poor work and doesn’t get results. The economy and the president’s personal attributes ranked in second place as negatives ahead of insecurity/violence and the withdrawal of government support or the provision of government support for those who don’t need it.

Almost six in 10 respondents — 57% — said that it is now reasonable to demand results from the government given the period of time it’s been in power, while 39% said it’s still too soon.

poverty in Iztapalapa
Children living in poverty in Mexico City’s borough of Iztapalapa. File photo

The 1,000 participants were presented with four challenges faced by the government and asked to nominate which was the most pressing. Almost four in 10 respondents — 36% — choose reducing insecurity; 28% nominated improving the country’s economic situation; 25% opted for reducing corruption in government; and 9% selected protecting Mexicans from COVID.

Only 46% of those polled said that López Obrador has done a good or very good job in combatting insecurity — which remains a major problem in many parts of the country — while 51% said the opposite. In contrast, 60% said he has done a good job in combatting corruption and 61% indicated the same with regard to his management of the economy.

Over 60% of respondents complimented the president for living modestly, being honest and representing a change in Mexican politics, but 49% said he has old-fashioned ideas and 44% said he has a tendency to conceal the truth.

Over half of the participants — 53% — said the government’s foreign policy priority should be maintaining close ties with the United States while 34% said it was more important to have close relations with other Latin American countries. An additional 7% said that relations with the United States and Latin America were equally as important.

López Obrador has indicated he won’t attend next month’s Summit of the Americas in the United States if Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are not invited, a stance for which he has faced significant criticism.

Asked whether Mexico is on a good path under AMLO’s leadership, 53% of poll respondents said it was while 38% said it wasn’t. The president has almost universal recognition, with just 2% saying they didn’t know who Andrés Manuel López Obrador was.

A poll published last week found that the ruling Morena party, which the president founded, is easily Mexico’s most popular political party.

With reports from El Universal 

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