Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bachelet numbers

Strangely enough, President Bachelet’s approval numbers have improved: 42% compared to 40% a month ago, and up to 37% from 33% in Santiago. Nationally, her disapproval ratings also improved, but remain high (43% compared to 46% a month ago). However, people greatly disapprove of the government in general (55% versus 53% last month) though it receives much better ratings outside Santiago.

Check out Pato Navia’s blog (in Spanish) for a highly critical commentary of the Concertación, in which he argues that it has failed to reinvent itself. I think he’s overly critical, but I do agree with his assertion that the right just can’t get its act together. Bachelet’s numbers have improved slightly, but remain well under 50%, yet the right has not stepped in and taken political advantage.


Boli-Nica 12:22 PM  

The governing partie(s) have staked out the center pretty thoroughly. The right in the mind of many working and middle class Chileans, at best represents business interests that in the name of "fiscal responsibility" would cut social programs -At worst there is the whole Pinochet baggage.

Greg Weeks 4:18 PM  

I agree to a certain extent, but I do think that after 17 years of the Concertación, scandals, etc. there are some voters in the center for the taking, and the Alianza is not doing anything to attract them.

boz 8:39 PM  

It's also possible that the voters Bachelet has lost are not those that the Alianza believes they can gain.

I see Bachelet having lost support due to three areas:
1. People angry about the transportation issues.
2. Left and Center-left voters who feel she has not done enough on economic and social issues.
3. Voters who believe she did not crack down hard enough on the protest movements.

Someone from the right would have to make the argument that he/she would have done better on numbers 1 or 3 (number 2 may be a lost cause for them). I'm not sure who the leader is in the Alianza who can make those arguments credibly.

Greg Weeks 8:32 AM  

I'd argue that what you and boli-nica are missing is a more general sense (to which the specific issues obviously contribute) that the Concertacion has been in power so long that it is not governing as effectively as it once did. This opens up several (overlapping) possibilities:

1. The right comes up with a viable candidate who plays on the Concertacion's weaknesses

2. Wavering Concertacion voters in the center either vote for the right or stay home in the next election

3. The Concertacion breaks apart and runs separate candidates

4. The Concertacion comes up with a candidate who can re-energize the coalition (though I don't know who this would be)

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