One new opinion poll shows that President López Obrador’s approval rating dropped four points in April to below 50%, but another produced rather different results, showing his popularity increased by eight points in the same month to a lofty 68%.
The first was commissioned by the newspaper El Economista and showed that the president’s approval rating fell to 48.8% last month.
The second, published on Monday by El Financiero, shows that AMLO, as the leftist leader is commonly known, still enjoys strong support.
The eight-point spike in the latter poll comes after López Obrador’s approval rating dropped three points to 60 in March from 63 the month before in El Financiero’s previous poll. AMLO’s disapproval rating declined accordingly from 37% in March to 29% in April.
The coronavirus crisis was identified by a majority of respondents as the biggest problem Mexico currently faces, usurping the position occupied by public insecurity in March.
But a majority of those polled – 53% – believe that the federal government is doing a very good or good job in responding to the crisis. Only 29% said that the López Obrador administration is not responding well.
The result is a big improvement for the government compared to March when only 28% of respondents said that it was doing a good job responding to the coronavirus pandemic and health issues more broadly.
The more favorable assessment came despite the worsening of the coronavirus outbreak in Mexico over the past month – there were only 1,215 confirmed cases and 29 deaths at the end of March compared to more than 19,000 cases and 1,859 fatalities at the end of April.
Support for the government’s approach to public security also grew in April, with 30% of respondents saying that it is doing a good job in the area compared to just 22% in March. Preliminary figures show that homicides declined 3.5% in April compared to March.
While the president’s approval rating is up and the government was assessed more positively in the areas of health and security, the El Financiero poll doesn’t bear only good news for AMLO, who has now been in Mexico’s top job for almost a year and a half.
Only 27% of respondents said that the government is doing a good job managing the economy, a slump of 16 points compared to March, while more than eight in 10 of those polled said that the coronavirus pandemic has hurt the Mexican economy a lot.
Almost one-third of respondents said that someone in their family had lost their job in the last three months, up from 11% in March, only 21% of those polled described their financial situation as good or very good, down from 33% in March, and just 24% said that their job prospects and economic outlook were favorable.
The economic concerns reflect the sharp downturn in economic activity as a result of the pandemic and the restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the virus. The economy is predicted to go into a deep recession this year, with many analysts and financial institutions forecasting a GDP contraction in the range of 5% to 10%.
López Obrador, meanwhile, has faced criticism for not doing enough to support the economy during the coronavirus-induced economic slump. Several analysts were critical of the spending cuts announced by the president last month, asserting that now is not the time for more government austerity.
However, 59% of poll respondents said that cutting government spending during the pandemic was a good idea while only 36% said that it should increase.
The survey also revealed strong support for cancelling the government’s major infrastructure projects, with almost 70% of respondents saying that the Santa Lucía airport, the Maya Train and the Dos Bocas refinery should all be scrapped and their resources reallocated to healthcare or economic support for citizens.
The survey was conducted in mid and late April among 820 Mexican adults living across all 32 federal entities. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.4%, El Financiero said.
Source: El Financiero (sp)