Friday, December 1, 2023

AMLO’s performance: in general, 61% like it, 33% don’t, new poll finds

Inflation is at a two-decade high and cartels recently ran riot in some parts of the country, but Andrés Manuel López Obrador remains a popular president, according to a new poll.

A poll conducted by the Reforma newspaper between August 23 and 29 found a 61% approval rating for the president, who has now been in office for three years and nine months.

López Obrador’s approval rating among those surveyed by Reforma has remained close to 60% since early 2020. Before then, it was even higher.

One-third of respondents to the newspaper’s latest poll – in which 1,000 people responded to a range of questions – said they disapproved of the president’s performance. The 33% disapproval figure was one point higher than that yielded by the May poll, but lower than those detected a year ago and last December. A graph published by Reforma showed that López Obrador’s lowest disapproval rating was 18% in March 2019 while his highest was 41% in August 2020.

While 61% of respondents to the latest poll approved of AMLO’s overall performance, less than 50% said he was doing a good job in eight of 10 specific areas of governance. In health, 44% of those polled said the president was doing a good job, while the figures for combating poverty and attending to the relationship with the United States were 42% and 36%, respectively.

In those three areas, and social programs (64%) and education (53%), López Obrador had a net positive rating – a sizable percentage of respondents didn’t offer an opinion – but his net rating was negative in the other five. Only 34% of respondents said the president was doing a good job fighting corruption (versus 36% who said the opposite) and his numbers for economy (32% good/36% bad), medicine supply (29%/38%), security (29%/44%) and fighting organized crime (21%/48%) were even worse.

Just over half of those polled this month – 53% – said the Mexican economy has deteriorated over the past year, up from 46% a year ago. The rating agency Moody’s is predicting growth of 2% this year and just 1% in 2023. Meanwhile, inflation reached 8.62% in the first half of August, the highest level since 2000.

About four in 1o poll respondents said their personal economic situation worsened over the past year, and 77% said they have been significantly or somewhat affected by the high level of inflation.

With regard to security, 68% of those polled said they believed that violence has increased over the past 12 months and 66% thought that insecurity in general has worsened. A similar percentage of respondents – 63% – surmised that the presence of organized crime has increased.

Almost seven in 10 of those polled – 69% – declared that a security strategy that makes use of “all the force of the state” is more effective in combating organized crime than the federal government’s current non-confrontational “abrazos, no balazos,” or “hugs, not bullets” approach.

A separate poll conducted earlier this month for the El Universal newspaper found that 80% of respondents were very much in favor (51%) or somewhat in favor (29%) of the armed forces taking a greater role in the fight against organized crime.

The military could soon be effectively bolstered as López Obrador announced earlier this month that he intends to issue a decree to put the National Guard under the control of the army.

With reports from Reforma and El Universal 

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