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The weapon of popularity

Provoke is not debate

But for no one is that information so valuable, for no one is it so truly indispensable, as for the very leaders whose popularity it registers; For them, besides being useful and interesting, it is strategic.

First, because it provides presidents with very important numbers in terms of the perception that people have, not necessarily of their management but of their figure. Unlike performance polls, approval or popularity polls refer to the character, his image and his attributes, not his work.

And second, because that input is susceptible not only to being known but also to being used: to communicate strength, to pressure for or against certain positions, to channel popular sentiment in a specific direction. In short, it can serve as a tool for exercising power.

Especially in democracies, but also in other types of regimes, the popularity of a president is an indicator that organizes conflict and political competition: it represents a signal that all forces listen to and based on which, in combination with other factors, order their priorities, define their messages and design their strategies. And not only in election season but literally all time.

I review the most recent survey by Buendía & Márquez ( ) and I am left with three data. One is that among people considered to be of “low” socioeconomic status (equivalent to 44% of the population) the approval of the president is 69%; among the “medium” level (34% of the population), 61%; and among the “high” level (22% of the population), 51%. The approval of the president is majority among everybody socioeconomic strata.

Another is that 37% of the population considers that “it is still too early to demand results from the government of President López Obrador”; while 59% of the consider that “enough time has passed”. Among the former, 88% approve and 7% disapprove of the president; and among the latter, 47% approve and 48% disapprove (the survey’s margin of error is +/- 3.53 points). Although most no longer give him the benefit of the doubt, or rather the patience, they approve of him anyway.

And the third data refers to the attributes with which the population describes the president: “he has a simple lifestyle” (68%), “he is honest” (66%), “he is tolerant” (65%), ” governs for all Mexicans” (62%), “represents a change” (61%), “complies with the laws, even when they may seem unfair” (60%) and “admits its mistakes” (52%). In short, most have a valuation positive of the president as a person.

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