Mérida, May 15th 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's approval rating remains above 60%, according to recent polls by Datanalisis, which is considered to be sympathetic to the opposition and private business interests, and Social Investigation Group XXI (GIS), which is considered to be sympathetic to the government.
The GIS poll, which surveyed 2,500 Venezuelans at the end of April, reported that 67.1% of respondents said Chávez's management of the country has been "good" or "very good," while 21% said it has been "bad" or "very bad," and 11.9% said it has been "regular."
If a presidential election were held tomorrow, 53.4% of respondents said they would vote for Chávez, while 32.5% said they would vote for the opposition, according to GIS.
The Datanalisis poll, which surveyed 1,300 Venezuelans in March, showed Chávez's approval rating to be 61%.
Both Datanalisis and GIS attributed Chávez's popularity at least in part to the maintenance of the government's educational, cultural, health, and other social programs amidst the world economic downturn.
Regarding the economic situation of the country, 44.8% of respondents to the GIS poll projected that it will be "better" or "much better" in one year, while 29.6% said it will be "worse" or "much worse."
When GIS asked Venezuelans what their personal economic situation will be like in one year, 70.6% of respondents said it would be "better" or "much better."
54.6% of respondents said the world economic crisis has affected them "little" or "not at all," while 35% responded that it has affected them "a lot" or "significantly."
According to the Datanalisis poll, 83% of respondents said private property should be protected in Venezuela, and 57% said they believe the Chávez government respects private property. The Venezuelan constitution guarantees the sanctity of private property, and the Chavez government has promoted the creation of businesses and other associations based on new forms of social and collective property.
Also, 80% of Venezuelans do not favor the Cuban political system, and 60% said they do not believe the Chávez government is trying to build the Cuban model in Venezuela, Datanalisis reported. Venezuelan opposition leaders and the private media frequently allege that the Chávez government is attempting to set up the Cuban political system in Venezuela.
Similar to last year, crime based insecurity continues to be perceived as the principal problem affecting the country. 77.1% of respondents to the GIS poll and 53.8% of respondents to the Datanalisis poll said insecurity was the biggest problem in Venezuela.
Datanalisis is considered to be sympathetic to the opposition and rarely releases poll results that are favorable to the Chávez government. The current director of GIS, José Vielma Mora, previously ran Venezuela's national customs service. The former director of GIS, Nelson Merentes, was Chávez's finance minister and now directs the Central Bank of Venezuela.