President López Obrador’s approval rating has fallen 10 points following a spike in cartel violence, a new poll shows, but he retains the support of almost six in 10 Mexicans.
Published by the newspaper El Universal on Friday, the survey shows that 58.7% of 1,000 people polled approve of the president’s performance. When the newspaper’s last poll was published in late August, López Obrador, or AMLO as he is commonly known, had an approval rating of 68.7%.
The percentage of respondents who disapprove of the president’s performance increased to 22.9% from 19.8% in August, while the number of those who neither approve nor disapprove grew to 16% from 10%.
The government’s failure to reduce violence since it took office last December has dealt the most damaging blow to López Obrador’s popularity.
In March, just over 50% of respondents approved of both the strategy to fight crime in general and drug cartels specifically but the latest poll shows that support has fallen about 20 points to 31.1% and 32% respectively.
The survey was conducted three weeks after the botched attempt to capture Ovidio Guzmán López, son of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, in Culiacán, Sinaloa, and two days after the November 4 massacre of nine members of the LeBarón family near the Sonora-Chihuahua border.
While the president’s rating on security has taken a sizable hit, his overall performance has declined by a more modest margin.
In March, poll respondents gave AMLO an average performance rating of 7.72. The rating fell to 7.33 in June and 7.22 in August.
This month, despite the surging violence, the president’s rating only deteriorated slightly to 6.99 even though less than a third of those polled believe that López Obrador has Mexico’s problems under control.
Seven in 10 respondents said that, given the opportunity, they would vote in favor of AMLO continuing his term, a decline of just 4% compared to August, and 63.1% said that they didn’t regret voting for him at the 2018 election, 1.3% less than three months ago.
A majority of poll respondents approved of the president’s performance in the areas of education, healthcare and poverty alleviation but only a third or less approved of his response to protests and migration and the way in which he deals with opposition parties.
Asked to name the greatest achievement of the López Obrador administration, 27.4% cited its social programs while the second most common response – cited by 14% of respondents – was that there hasn’t been one.
The next most commonly mentioned achievements were the crackdown on fuel theft, the fight against corruption and management of the economy (despite stagnant growth).
Just over a fifth of poll respondents said the federal security strategy – which aims to avoid the use of force wherever possible – is the government’s biggest mistake while 13% said that it hasn’t made any errors.
The approach to combating drug trafficking was considered the government’s biggest mistake by 8.2% of those polled, 6% cited the failure to curb violence and 5.1% said that social programs were the greatest error of the López Obrador administration.
Less than half of respondents said that they expect the president to keep his campaign promises but 55.5% said that Mexico will improve under his leadership. Only 14% said that the situation in the country will get worse while just under a quarter said that things will remain the same.
Although the government is just two weeks shy of reaching its first anniversary, six in 10 of those polled believe that it is too soon to begin to evaluate its performance.
Source: El Universal (sp)