September 23, 2009

Most Mexicans See Better Life in U.S. - One-In-Three Would Migrate

Chapter 4. Ratings of Leaders and Institutions

A majority of Mexicans give President Felipe Calderón high marks. Moreover, the survey shows that most believe that the president, national government and the military are having a positive impact on the way things are going in their country. The court system and the police receive less favorable reviews.

Views of Groups and Institutions

Close to eight-in-ten (77%) say the military is having a very or somewhat good influence on the way things are going, largely unchanged since 2007. Three-quarters say President Calderón is having a positive impact on the country, up from 70% in 2007. In 2002, slightly fewer (66%) described then-President Vicente Fox’s influence on the country as good.

The national government receives high praise for its impact on the country. More than seven-in-ten (72%) say the national government is having a positive effect on the way things are going, up from 64% in 2002.

The percentage saying the media is having a good influence on the way things are going has decreased over the last few years. Today, 68% think the media is having a good impact, compared with 75% in 2007 and 84% in 2002.

About half (51%) believe that religious leaders are having a positive effect on the country, while 35% view their influence negatively. In 2007, a larger majority (59%) said religious leaders were having a good impact.

Majorities express discontent with the kind of influence the police and the court system are having on the way things are going. Nearly six-in-ten (58%) say that the police are having a negative impact on the country, while fewer than four-in-ten (35%) view the influence of the police positively. And when it comes to the judiciary, 55% believe that the court system is having a bad influence on the country, while only 37% think it is having a good influence.

Rating Political Leaders

Nearly seven-in-ten (68%) Mexicans express a favorable opinion of Calderón, while only about three-in-ten (29%) have an unfavorable view of the president.4 Positive opinions of Calderón are widespread across most demographic groups, and more than eight-in-ten (82%) of those who identify with his National Action Party (PAN) give him a positive rating. Moreover, the president’s popularity extends across party lines – 63% of those affiliated with the PRI express a positive view of Calderón.

Majorities in all four regions express favorable views of the president, but opinions about him are more negative in the capital. About four-in-ten (41%) in Mexico City have an unfavorable view of Calderón, compared with 28% in the north, 24% in the central region and 21% in the south.

Nearly half of Mexicans (47%) express a positive opinion of Beatriz Paredes Rangel, president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), while roughly one-third (32%) say they have an unfavorable view of her, and 21% do not offer an opinion. Paredes garners much stronger support from members of her own party – 60% of those who are affiliated with the PRI offer a positive opinion of their party’s leader, compared with 46% of those who are affiliated with the PAN.

Views of the president of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), Jesús Ortega Martínez, are divided. About as many say they have a favorable opinion of Martínez (37%) as say they have an unfavorable opinion of him (35%). About three-in-ten (28%) are unable to offer an assessment of the leader of the PRD, and those in the north, south and central regions are particularly unfamiliar with him. In the capital city, where Martínez is more well-known, nearly half (49%) give him a positive rating.

  1. Despite the president’s popularity, Calderón’s National Action Party (PAN) lost in the July 5th mid-term elections to the opposition party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which now controls the Chamber of Deputies. A recent poll conducted August 14-16 by the Mexico City newspaper Reforma suggests that Calderón remains popular, despite his party’s losses – the president received a 68% approval rating, up from 62% one year earlier