Outgoing US President Barack Obama remains a superstar to Colombians, while incoming President-elect Donald Trump’s disapproval rating is exceeded only by that of Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, according to the year-end Gallup Colombia poll.
Obama is viewed favorably by an astronomical 87% of Colombians, with only 6% disapproving, according to the new poll of 1,200 Colombians, which has an accuracy margin of 3%.
By contrast, two out of three Colombians disapproved of Trump (68%), with only 16% registering approval. He was the only public figure within shouting distance of Maduro’s 94% disapproval rating.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ approval rating remained low but continued its recent improvement. At mid-year 2016, only 21% of Colombians approved of his presidency, but that jumped to 35% by December.
That means one out of seven Colombians switched from disapproval to approval of Santos in the last six months, a significant improvement for the president whose popularity dropped steadily during the tense years of peace talks with the country’s largest guerrilla group.
Nevertheless, there remains a large gap between Santos’ international reputation, burnished by the Nobel Peace Prize, and his approval at home.
In other results, Colombians were evenly split on the use of taxes to repair the millions of victims of Colombia’s long internal wars. But the 50% approval rating for it was up significantly from 41% three months ago, the time during which the peace treaty with the FARC was consolidated.
More than three-quarters of Colombians (76%) continued to disapprove of same-sex marriage, but the disapproval is trending slowly down.
There remained a pessimistic view of progress in public health (81% saying conditions were worsening), the economy (74%), corruption (83%), the cost of living (85%) and overall insecurity (78%).
While the the FARC treaty was narrowly defeated in a public referendum, nearly half the public (48%) said conditions regarding the guerrillas have improved, far more than the 31% who thought conditions have deteriorated.
And the FARC’s overall unfavorable rating (79%) was exceeded by disapproval of Colombia’s justice system (82% unfavorable), political parties (84%) and the ELN (86%), the second-largest guerrilla group.
Colombia’s military continues to draw significant support, with three-quarters of the population (73%) having a favorable opinion and 24% unfavorable.