Caracas, Venezuela, July 27, 2005 —President Chavez of Venezuela enjoys
an approval rating of 71.8%, according to the opposition-aligned Venezuelan polling
firm Datanalisis. The poll was conducted June 14 to 20 and shows a slight decline
in Chavez’s popularity in other indicators, but overall his popularity is
at its highest point since the honeymoon he enjoyed shortly after his first election
The poll, which was presented to journalists this past Tuesday, shows that
Chavez’s popularity had declined slightly between May and June, but that
the difference was still within the margin of error of 2.7% and thus practically
the same as before. Also, according to José Vicente Leon, the director
of Danalisis, the percentage of Venezuelans who trust Chavez stood at 58.7%
and those who said they would vote for Chavez if elections were held now, stood
at 54.7%. As such the percentage is only slightly lower than the 59% the voted
in favor of Chavez remaining in office during last year’s recall referendum.
In terms of how Venezuelans define themselves, 46.3% consider themselves “Chavistas,”
35.6% percent are non-aligned, and 14.6% consider themselves supporters of the
When asked to name the country’s most serious problems, 49.2% of Venezuelans
said that unemployment is clearly the number one problem. This was followed
by insecurity (18%) and a wide variety of other problems that fall within the
poll’s margin of error.
45.6% of those polled said that they had in some way benefited from the social
programs known as the “missions.” The one that the largest number
of Venezuelans benefited from was Misión Mercal, which provides subsidized
food in 14,000 community stores throughout the country. The next most used mission
was Misión Barrio Adentro, which provides 12,000 Cuban community doctors
for free medical treatment. Of those who used the missions, almost all said
that they were satisfied with them, with 92.7% of the Mercal beneficiaries reporting
satisfaction and 83% of Barrio Adentro beneficiaries.
The program with the highest level of dissatisfaction was Misión Vivienda
(15% dissatisfaction), which provides public housing to Venezuela’s poor.
The program has been plagued with problems as it has proven very difficult to
build as many homes as are currently needed by the population.
The most popular institutions in the country are the Catholic Church (78.7%
approval), followed by the banks (75.2%), the mass media (75%), and Chavez (71.8%).
Leon speculated that the reason the banks faired so well in this survey, compared
to the general disgust that has often been shown towards them because of exorbitantly
high interest rates, is that interest rates have come down significantly recently,
but especially for home loans, largely as a result of government regulation.
An institution that shows a disturbingly high lack of confidence, according
to Leon, is the National Electoral Council (CNE), with 42.7% expressing a lack
of confidence in this institution. The CNE has been under steady opposition
attack since the August 2004 recall referendum, but especially in the lead-up
to the upcoming August 7th city council elections.
Finally, in terms of ideological self-definition, the poll states that 26.4%
of Venezuelans support socialism, 15.5% support capitalism, 7.8% support neither
type of system, and the rest (49.5%) did not answer or were undecided.