Thursday, June 24, 2010

Piñera's (dis)approval

A new poll from CERC has Sebastián Piñera's approval at 54%.  CERC's director, the political scientist Carlos Huneeus, emphasized to the press that this was the lowest initial approval for any postauthoritarian president.  He also argued that the low approval was largely due to the fact that RN and UDI don't have the same mobilization capacity as the parties of the Concertación.  That set off a brief firestorm of comments from members of different parties interpreting it in a way favorable to them.  Patricio Navia argues that each president has started with lower numbers than his/her predecessor, simply reflecting a population becoming more critical about their presidents.

In the short term, though, I would argue that starting numbers mean little and so should not be over-analyzed.  Michelle Bachelet started fairly high, then plummeted (and then recovered).  There is still a lot of room for movement in either direction.


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