Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New public opinion polls

Recent polls released this week show the Salvadoran public is pessimistic about the problems facing the country, but likes president Tony Saca. Only a third of the country favors the ruling party in upcoming elections, but the population does not see that the opposition offers a compelling alternative. Despite the spin which Salvadoran media outlets may put on poll results, the Salvadoran populace is disenchanted with politicians of all stripes.

Public opinion researchers at the University of Central America, as reported in DiarioCoLatino, found pessimism about the country' economic situation. Among those polled:

  • 53.5% believe the economic situation worsened in 2005
  • 72% believe that the cost of living increased greatly in 2005
  • 50.4% believe the country will get even worse off in 2006
The top three national problems identified by those polled are crime, poverty and unemployment.

The same poll asked about preferences for candidates in the upcoming 2006 National Assembly elections:
  • ARENA 31.4%
  • FMLN 20.6%
  • PCN 4.6%
  • PDC 2.6%
  • FDR 2.2%
  • Others 0.3%
  • No opinion 39%
The researches attribute ARENA's strong showing to the public image of president Tony Saca who continues to have a strong public approval rating 0f 6.38, and that the population does not view the FMLN as being able to solve the country's big problems.

These results are similar to another poll in La Prensa Grafica which found that 53% of the population believe the country is on the wrong track. Yet in that poll Saca received a favorable average rating of 6.8 on a 10 point scale.

The La Prensa poll found the following preferences for mayoral elections in 2006:
  • 27.7% ARENA
  • 11.6% FMLN
  • 8.8% PCN
  • 2.6% PDC
A few days ago, I speculated that the center-left coalition candidacy of San Salvador mayor Carlos Rivas Zamora might allow ARENA to capture the mayor's post in the capital city. The poll results for the capital city indicate this possibility:
  • ARENA candidate: Rodrigo Samayoa 26.5%
  • FMLN candidate: Violeta Menji­var 17.7%
  • Center-left coalition: Carlos Rivas Zamora 11.6%
  • None of the above 40.7%
It has been true in every poll over the last several months -- the leading candidates are "I don't know" and "I don't care."


boz said...

Yay! Poll Numbers!

I think nearly every country in Central America is facing a large portion of the population that has lost faith in the two main parties.

All of the countries are going to see some sort of political realignment, but sadly, some of them may face some serious crises first.

Anonymous said...

I find the poll results extremely funny. ARENA has been ruling the country for almost 15 years, and it is in their rule that corruption has gone rampant, crime has gotten much more brutal (things like that electoral scam of Super Mano Dura haven't worked!),things like the dollarization occured (something that doesn't benefit the average Joe, but is perfect for people who commit money laundering or make big transactions to international banks). So, I continue to ask myself, WHY do the regular people keep voting for ARENA? and how will we ever know if FMLN is a good alternative if we don't place it in power? Besides, it should be evidence enough, that FMLN has proved to be the crib for some of the best mayors this country has seen.

As for the center? The center is nothing, imo, it just takes away meaningful votes. Votes that could go to either of the two leading parties. Seriously. I remember when my father used to work for PDC back in the 80s, and compared to now... the amount of support the party has is ridiculous. Though, I do agree that there may not be many good party choices, these past years I've grown very upset of actually canceling my vote during the Presidential Elections, thanks to my belief of there being no good choices and being disgusted with the country's politics. But now, I'm completely sick of ARENA, that I'd be happy with any other party.

By the way, speaking of our beloved president... He was a radio show personality, for crying out loud! If HE would have anything good about himself should be charisma. Of course people may like him, but can't they see his incompetence as president?

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