QCOSTARICA (Semanario Universidad) As President Rodrigo Chaves reaches one year in power with the greatest reserve of popularity in recent history, for the moment, with a downward trend that cut him 20% of the support he had in August and that shows him vulnerable to attrition that governments often suffer.
The most recent survey by the Center for Research and Political Studies (CIEP) of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) records the erosion of the strong political capital that has characterized Chaves since he took power on May 8, 2022, while watching how insecurity escalates to the position of greatest anguish of the population and the majority of people mistrust the government’s ability to address the country’s problems.
While in August 79 out of 100 people gave favorable opinions about Chaves, that dropped to 68 in November and now it is down even more, to 63, a statistically significant drop because it exceeds the margin of error of the studies, of 3 percentage points.
The 16 points of reduction in the last eight months represent 20.2% of the popularity flow that the president had in August when he completed his first 100 days in power.
Meanwhile, negative opinions about Chaves almost doubled between August and April, going from 10% to 19%, with the median point at 14% in November, which allows us to see an upward trend, according to the survey carried out. through 1,000 interviews between Monday, April 17, 2023, and Friday, April 21, 2023.
The popular evaluation of the Government as a whole is similar, beyond the figure of the president, since from November to April support fell 5 points and negative opinions increased 8 points. This makes 60% applaud the government and 21% disapprove of it, which leaves a gap that is still very favorable for Chaves, of almost 40 points, although in August it was 70 points.
The question about the direction of the country, despite the fact that it does not refer directly to the president or the Government, also shows results with signs of deterioration in relation to previous months: in five months it went from 50% to 44% of those who consider it “good ” or “very good” and rose from 24% to 33% who rate it as “bad” or “very bad”.
Regarding the qualification of Chaves and his government, the analysis of the responses shows that the support comes to a greater extent from men, people with secondary education and adults between 35 and 54 years of age, as well as inhabitants of the provinces of Limón, Alajuela and Puntarenas, in that order.
Ronald Alfaro, the coordinator of the CIEP-UCR investigation, commented that the Chaves government continues to have significant popular muscle and continues to receive high expectations from citizens, which also indicates that it faces a risk of losing it. This trend may be related to the wear and tear that different governments tend to suffer, despite the fact that this one surpassed its predecessors by a wide margin at the starting point and continues to surpass them.
One of the findings of the study is the closeness of the results between the evaluations that the population gives to the president and to the Government as a whole, since on previous occasions the president usually receives a better grade. Now, however, Chaves and his administration get equal approval, considering the margin of error.
Alfaro pointed out the novelty of this detail in a centralized administration in the strong figure of Rodrigo Chaves.
“It is difficult to separate people’s evaluation of the government from the one they give to the president,” explained the political scientist, pointing out that, as in the evaluation of the president, the government also still receives a high rating despite the downward trend.