Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mexicans More Optimistic about the Economy, Less So about the President

According to the latest Mitofsky numbers, Calderón's approval rating has sunk to 52 percent. This is the lowest Mitofsky rating of Calderón's term, 16 points down from his high in March of 2009. If there can be a silver lining to that kind of information, the impressions of economy continue turning lightly upwards. The proportion of people saying that Mexico was on the wrong track dropped to 54.5 percent, the third straight month of decline; the people with negative economic expectations for the year ahead slipped to 74.1 percent, which is the fourth consecutive drop. These are still quite negative numbers (although Mexicans are traditionally pessimistic in these types of polls), but they are trending in a positive direction.

Since there was a several-months lag time between the explosion of the financial crisis and the implosion of Calderón's popularity, it seems logical that as the popular perception of the improving Mexican economy takes hold over the next several months, Calderón's popularity should bounce back a bit. News like the upward revision of Mexico's official GDP growth projection will only help this process along, albeit slowly. Although, at that point it could be too late for his popularity to have any impact on his agenda, if it ever did.

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