Friday, August 3, 2007

South American presidential approval ratings

The heads of state across South America have a pretty broad range of popularity ratings. None, at the current moment, exceed two-thirds of the populace approving their leadership efforts but only two have less than a third of the citizenry supporting them.

Colombia's Alvaro Uribe leads the way with a 66 percent approval rating. This is actually an unprecedented drop in his numbers attributed to the recent scandals in his country.

Controversial Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez continues to enjoy popular support with a 64.7 percent approval rating (from April, the most recent poll available). Two of Chavez' closest allies in the region Bolivia's Evo Morales and Ecuador's Rafael Correa are enjoying approval ratings of 61 percent and 62 percent, respectively.

Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has sustained a 50 percent approval rating despite fending off scandal accusations of his own. Uruguay's Tabaré Vázquez is also fighting a recent dip with his figures holding at 51 percent.

Argentina's Néstor Kirchner is holding at 49 percent approval while his wife and Buenos Aires senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner continues to hold the lead for October's presidential election.

Chilean president Michelle Bachelet has seen her approval rating dip to 41 percent following waves of popular protest this year. Her neighbor to the north, Alan Garcia, has seen a similar whallop to his ratings following recent unrest. He's struggling to hold onto a 32 percent rating - half of what he enjoyed upon being elected one year ago.

Bringing up the rear is Paraguay's Nicanor Duarte whose 20 percent approval (from February, the most recent poll available) casts a dim light on his re-election hopes next year.


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