President Juan Manuel Santos can count on the approval of 56% of Colombia’s citizens, while 42% disapproves of his policies, according to pollster CNC. Other recent polls have claimed almost opposite numbers.
In a poll broadcast on television newscast CM&, 57% of Colombians have a positive image of their head of state, while 40% have a negative image of him.
The poll showed a stark contrast with other polls released recently that claimed the president’s approval rating is well below 50% and significantly lower than his approval rating.
The CNC poll also is the only poll that has claimed Santos’ popularity has gone up since his August reelection.
Other pollsters showed a consistent decline in popularity that began when the president first took office in 2010.
Santos’ approval rating since taking office
Between 34% and 56% of Colombians approve of their president, when comparing polls that have been released since late October.
Santos approval rating is:
- 56% (CNC)
- 42% (Gallup)
- 40% (Ipsos)
- 34% (Datexco)
What’s eating the Colombians?
Datexco, the pollster that released the most recent and most negative poll before CNC, Santos’ lack of popularity is due to popular disapproval of policies to combat corruption and poverty, and improve health care and unemployment.
The president can count on disapproval ratings around 70% on all these issues.
Similarly high disapproval rates were given to how the government is dealing with national security, particularly the ongoing activity of left-wing rebel groups and drug-trafficking neo-paramilitary groups.
What about the peace talks?
In regards to ongoing peace talks with the country’s largest rebel groups, the FARC, pollsters also give contradictory figures.
According to CNC, 60% of Colombians feel optimistic about ongoing talks with the FARC against 40% who expressed pessimism.
Datexco said that 55% of Colombians do not believe peace will be agreed against 36% who do. According to the same poll, 61% rejects how Santos is dealing with the talks that could end 50 years of violence if successful.
Pollsters Gallup and Ipsos also showed a mainly pessimistic view on the outcome of the peace talks.
Who is the CNC?
The CNC, officially called the Centro Nacional de Consultoria, is owned by the Lemoine family that has had long-lasting ties with the Liberal Party, a member of Santos’ governing coalition.
According to political website La Silla Vacia, the pollster worked for the controversial 1994 presidential campaign of Ernesto Samper and was hired again in 2002 by the Liberals to provide polls favorable to then-presidential candidate Horacio Serpa.