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Unimer poll: Costa Rica president approval rating rebounds

February 6, 2009

A Unimer Research International poll found that President Oscar Arias has come back into favor among more Costa Ricans in January, with a 49 percent public approval rating, up from 29 percent in an earlier poll in August.

Published Sunday in the daily La Nación, the poll surveyed 1,225 citizens from Jan. 20 to 27.

La Nación cited Arias´ reaction after the Jan. 8 earthquake, his response to the financial crisis and advances on free trade pacts among the factors that might have moved more of the population over to the president´s side.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed also said Costa Rica´s government ministers are performing “well” to “very well,” a significant improvement from 18 percent in August.

In terms of disapproval, while 28 percent deemed Arias´ performance as “bad” or “very bad” in August, this time that category dropped to 17 percent. Those still critical of Arias tend to be between 18 and 29 years old, followers of the Libertarian Movement or the left-leaning Citizen Action Party, or residents of rural areas outside San José, according to the study.

In previous polls, public opinion of Arias had plummeted because of economic woes and escalating crime that were causing citizens to lose faith in their leader. Those issues continue to be the highest concern for Ticos, in that order, according to a separate opinion poll undertaken by CID-Gallup and published Feb. 3 in the business daily La República.

In a November poll, CID-Gallup showed an even further drop in Arias´ approval rating from the August Unimer study, with a dismal 24 percent showing.

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