It always makes me chuckle when someone tries to show how unpopular Chavez of Venezuela is by quoting opposition poll results. There was a poll released just recently and a very good article analyzing the poll in light of other recent polls judging Chavez’s popularity among Venezuelans.
It matches well with the Latinobarometro poll, which is apparently the most respected poll in Latin America:
Perhaps the most widely respected among all recent polls is the 2007 annual survey of 18 Latin American countries conducted by the Chilean polling firm Latinobarometro, the results of which were released this past January.
According to Latinobarometro, 60% of Venezuelans approved of President Chávez`s job performance in 2007, and 61% approved of the Venezuelan government as a whole. Also, 59% of Venezuelans were either “very satisfied” or “pretty satisfied” with the functioning of democracy in their country, placing Venezuela second only to Uruguay.
The Latinobarometro poll also showed that 52% of Venezuelans said the economic situation in their country was either good or very good in 2007, and that 67% agreed that the state is capable of solving the nation’s problems.
The 60% approval rating matches up well with the historical record in Venezuela as Chavez has often been elected by similar numbers. This also matches the numbers from a poll recently performed by the Venezuelan Data Analysis Institute:
A national poll conducted between April 24th and May 2nd by the Venezuelan Data Analysis Institute (IVAD) showed that 68.8% of Venezuelans believe the presidency of Hugo Chávez has been excellent, very good, or good, while 28.2% consider it to have been bad, very bad, or terrible.
The article then goes into how opposition polls have found different numbers, but I think I’ll lean toward believing the IVAD and Latinobarometro polls more because of their consistency with the known Venezuelan voting record.