Maduro’s Popularity Increases in Run-Up to Elections

The Venezuelan president’s approval ratings rose to 23.2% at the end of September.


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's popularity ratings have risen to 23.2% just a few weeks ahead of regional elections. (Reuters/Carlo Garcia Rawlins)
By Rachael Boothroyd Rojas
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Caracas, October 11 2017 ( - The approval ratings of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rose to 23.2% at the end of September, according to a new poll conducted by private center-right think-tank Datanalisis. 

The increase in the head of state’s popularity comes just weeks ahead of regional elections scheduled for this Sunday, when Venezuelans will choose their state governors for the next four years. 

Political observers have speculated that the bump - which represents a 5.8% increase from July - can be attributed to the population’s perception of an improvement in their economic situation, and their rejection of US economic sanctions approved against Venezuela by the Trump administration in August. The national government’s ability to bring an end to four months of violent protest between April and July is also believed to have played a part. 

Venezuelan website SupuestoNegado estimates that the latest popularity ratings could mean that the president has a loyal base of between 3.3 to 3.7 million voters.

Nonetheless, the economic research organization Torino Capital has estimated that the opposition will still make big wins this coming Sunday, potentially taking eighteen of Venezuela’s twenty-three state governorships. 

Meanwhile, Felix Velasquez, an adviser for the National Constituent Assembly, has speculated that the government will win thirteen state governorships in the upcoming elections and that abstention will be high. 

President Maduro’s popularity has taken a nose-dive in recent years, mostly due to a severe three-year-long economic crisis and his failure to tackle corruption in the public sector.