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Poll Sees Conflicting Approval Rates for Venezuelan President Maduro

Caracas, August 25th 2014 ( – Two conflicting reports over the same data – a poll by the private firm Hinterlaces – have pegged Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s approval rating at 60 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

In an interview last week with private TV station Globovision, Hinterlaces President Oscar Schmél set Maduro’s approval rating at 39 percent, which he stated represented an 18 percent drop from January. The government, he claimed, has "run out of time” to deal with the country’s economic problems, which include high inflation and basic goods shortages.

“There is a very pronounced climate of confusion, uncertainty, and discomfort within the Venezuelan population,” Schmél said. “These feelings have not yet manifested into rage, but what is clear is that this is a difficult situation for the national government ... there is a great demand for solutions that needs to be addressed.”

But on his weekly Sunday television show, journalist and politician José Vicente Rangel, who served in numerous capacities in the government of late President Hugo Chávez, stated that the Hinterlaces poll gave Maduro a 60 percent approval rating, a number that would represent a near ten percent climb from April.

“The majority of the people – those who gained material wellbeing, political agency, justice, dignity, and respect under [late President] Hugo Chávez – support President Maduro's decisions on economic issues,” Rangel said. “They support the revolution's social and political model and do not want it to change."

Neither source disclosed precise details of the poll, such as its duration or the number of citizens surveyed.

Despite their disagreement, both Schmél and Rangel indicated that the opposition had lost influence within the country, causing the percentage of “ni-ni” voters – those identifying with neither the government nor the opposition – to grow considerably.

Schmél noted that in this climate, Maduro had emerged as the country’s “only recognized and visible leader,” a position which gives him considerable opportunity moving forward.

“He is the only leader in the country, the only one with a capacity to give responses to citizens’ demands,” Schmél said. “The direction of the country depends on him. Everything that he does, for better or worse, will have a key impact on this nation.”

Published on Aug 25th 2014 at 4.27pm