President López Obrador continues to enjoy strong support among Mexicans, according to a new poll that shows growing approval of the government’s crackdown on Central American migrants.
Conducted in January by the newspaper El Financiero, the poll found that 71% of 820 adult respondents approve of López Obrador’s performance as president.
The figure is just one point below the approval rating that AMLO, as the president is widely known, attracted in the newspaper’s December poll. In turn, the percentage of poll respondents who disapprove of the president’s performance increased 1% to 28%.
The survey shows that the perception of the government’s performance in the areas of public security and the economy improved but the percentage of respondents who approved of its approach to combating corruption, tackling poverty and providing healthcare declined.
Asked to rate the López Obrador administration’s performance on public security, 31% said it was very good or good, a 4% increase compared to December. The improved standing came despite the publication of statistics on January 20 that showed that 2019 was the most violent year on record with more than 35,000 murders.
Similarly, support for the government’s management of the economy grew 2% to 45% even though the economy underwent its first contraction in a decade last year.
The positive assessment of the government’s performance in the areas of corruption, poverty and healthcare declined by between three and six points to 38%, 34% and 36%, respectively.
A five-point slump on healthcare can likely be mainly attributed to the confusion surrounding the government’s implementation of a new universal healthcare program to replace the Seguro Popular scheme.
Meanwhile, support for the government’s performance on education remained stable at 50%, while 26% of respondents said that it is doing very badly or badly in the area.
Asked about the government’s achievements in a range of other areas, 62% of those polled said that it had a lot or some success in reaching the new North American free trade agreement, and 58% said the same about job creation.
Half of those polled said that the government has had a lot or some success in the provision of public healthcare, while 47% said the same about the containment of Central American migrants, thousands of whom arrived on Mexico’s southern border in January.
Six in 10 respondents said that the government has had little or no success in selling the presidential plane, a figure that is surprisingly low considering that a buyer has not been found for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner valued at US $130 million.
Although less than half of the respondents said that the government has been successful in dealing with the latest influx of Central American migrants, the poll found increased support for the use of the National Guard to stop them.
Seventy-three percent of respondents said that they approved of the use of the new security force to stop the flow of migrants, an 18-point increase over the 55% who told El Financiero the same last July.
Asked whether the government should close the southern border to migrants or support them and grant them free passage through the country, 64% opted for the former, a 15-point jump compared to November. Only 34% of respondents said that the government should let the migrants in, a 13% decline compared to November.
More than half of those polled – 52% – agreed that the government’s stricter enforcement against migrants had effectively turned Mexico into the border wall long promised by United States President Donald Trump.
Asked to identify the government’s most important infrastructure project, 44% of respondents cited the Santa Lucía airport, 26% said the Dos Bocas refinery on the Tabasco coast and 11% chose the Maya Train. Five in 10 respondents said that they expect the airport to be finished on schedule in March 2022 but 38% said that they believed it won’t be completed on time.
Finally, El Financiero asked those polled to describe López Obrador’s performance over the past month using the terminology of baseball, the president’s favorite sport.
One in 10 people said that AMLO had hit a home run, 44% thought that he’d scored a hit, 16% declared that he’d hit a foul and 21% concluded that he had struck out.
Source: El Financiero (sp)