Two years to the day after Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected president, Mexico is divided over whether he is doing a good job running the country.
Roughly 50% of Mexicans approve of the president’s performance a year and a half into his six-year term while the other half do not, according to two new opinion polls.
A poll conducted by the newspaper El Financiero in June found that 56% of 820 respondents approve of López Obrador’s performance, while a much larger survey commissioned by El Economista found 47.5% support for the president and his government.
López Obrador’s approval rating declined by 4% and 1.7%, respectively, compared to the newspapers’ May polls. His current rating is well below the peak of his popularity in the months after he was sworn in when as many as 83% of Mexicans approved of his performance.
The El Financiero poll found that 42% disapproved of the job López Obrador is doing, an increase of five points compared to May and 13 points compared to April, the first full month of nationwide coronavirus restrictions.
The percentage of respondents who rated him highly for the personal attributes of honesty, leadership and ability to deliver results all declined to their lowest level ever.
The El Economista survey, which polled 45,186 smartphone users, found 52.1% disapproval of López Obrador’s performance. The figure is almost double the 28.4% disapproval rating the same poll found just three months into the president’s term.
El Financiero found that 51% of respondents believe that AMLO, as the president is known, is successfully fulfilling his duty to the Mexican people while 44% said that he is failing.
Asked about the president’s pledge that he would be a “guardian” of the 2021 midterm elections, 45% of respondents said that they agreed he should oversee the vote to ensure that it is free and fair while 48% said that he should not.
As Mexico faces tough economic times due to the coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions, 65% told El Financiero that the federal government is doing a very bad or bad job managing the economy, an eight-point spike compared to May and a 33% hike compared to January.
Respondents were divided over the government’s management on health as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow, with 40% saying that it is doing a very good or good job and the same percentage saying the opposite.
With Mexico on track to record its most violent year on record, almost two-thirds of respondents said that the government is performing very badly or badly on public security, while just 23% said that it is doing a good job in the area.
Only 43% said that they had a positive view of the news conferences López Obrador holds every weekday morning, a decline of six points compared to May, while 56% said that they had a favorable view of the Health Ministry’s nightly coronavirus press briefings, a 5% drop.
The National Guard, a new federal security force created by the López Obrador administration, is more popular than both news conferences, the survey found. Two-thirds of those polled said they had a high opinion of the force, while just 14% were critical of it.
The result appears at odds with AMLO’s apparent opinion of the force. He published a decree in May ordering the armed forces to continue carrying out public security tasks for another four years, seemingly acknowledging that the National Guard has failed in its mission to reduce violence.
Asked to identify the biggest problem in Mexico today, 38% of respondents to the El Financiero poll nominated the coronavirus pandemic, 30% said the economy and unemployment and 18% suggested insecurity.
Fifty-six percent of respondents to the El Economista survey said that insecurity has worsened since López Obrador took office, a 9% spike compared to May.
Two-thirds of respondents to the same poll said that AMLO has a poor relationship with Mexico’s business leaders.