Approval ratings for Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos fell to the lowest ever, a Gallup Colombia poll showed Tuesday.
For the first time since taking office over two years ago, Santos’ negative perception (47%) was higher than the positive (44%). According to the poll, the president can now only count on the approval of just 50% of Colombians, while 47% disapprove of their head of state.
The president’s lowest ratings pertained to controlling institutional corruption, stemming the rising cost of living for Colombians, and dealing with insurgents. In fact, 67% of respondents said that the government’s handling of the guerrillas was getting worse while only 20% had a positive outlook. This is the worst response to the question in five years.
Polls seemed to be improving for Santos at the beginning of 2013 after an approval ratings dip in December, but this poll shows the lowest approval ratings of his term thus far. Colombia will hold both presidential and congressional elections in 2014 and the populace’s take on this crop of politicians does not bode well for office holders. According to the poll, 57% of respondents said things in Colombia were getting worse and only 28% believed the opposite.
The country’s security situation seems to be Santos’ achillies heel based on the poll as 76% said the situation was worsening compared to just 17% who thought otherwise.
Over three quarters (77%) believe the country is becoming more corrupt.
When it comes to the economy, 45% believe things are getting worse while 43% see an improvement. Approximately 59% believe the unemployment problem is worsening to just 31% who think it is getting better, while 75% said the cost of living is getting more difficult and only 17% see an improvement.
The one area where Santos is succeeding, according to the poll, is the handling of international relations as 71% believe things are improving and only 15% gave a negative response.
FACT SHEET: Santos’ approval rating history
- Se desploma la imagen del presidente Santos (Radio Caracol)