President Carlos Alvarado’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic in the country has earned him a strong, abrupt and favorable leap in his popularity and that of his government; with the highest approval of a president in the last 18 years in Costa Rica.
The president reaches the midpoint of his presidential term, on May 8, with a forceful turnaround in the disapproving tendencies of the population, that was from the beginning of his administration.
The most recent survey by the Center for Research and Political Studies (CIEP) of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) projects that the majority applaud the presidential and government management of the epidemic, almost 60 days from the first case reported in the country on March 6.
Alvarado’s positive ratings went from 22% in the November survey to 65% in this month’s, while the negative fell from 59% to 20%, for reasons attributable to the management of the health emergency, judging by the high importance that the interviewees give to the new virus and the high approval of the measures announced by the Government in the last two months.
A resounding 94% positively rate health decisions, and even 71% approve of economic ones, despite the fact that there is still a lot of pessimism about the economy.
The survey was taken between April 13 and April 22, of 1,042 people interviewed by cellular phone. The results have a margin of error of 3%.
In February and March surveys, in the midst of the Presidential Data Analysis Unit (UPAD) scandal, respondents raised strong questions of Alvarado and his government, but the epidemic came and soon after and it seemed more important in popular priorities.
There is also a surge in popularity of the institutions involved in the emergency: the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), the Ministry of Health, headed by Daniel Salas, and the Police, all earning good scores. The Legislative Assembly also saw a significant rebound, for its quick approval of several bills.
The assessment of the Government as a whole, however, is the indicator that most changed in this study: the negatives dropped radically from 60% to 9% and positives from 20% to 75%.
This change is likely attributed to the exceptional timing and response of authorities in the pandemic. Similar behavior has occurred in other countries in relation to their government during the current emergency.
Read the full UCR survey (in Spanish) here.