A public opinion poll with the purpose of gauging support for Chilean President Michelle Bachelet in the last days of her government, after the devastating earthquake, showed that her standing remains intact at 84%, like in February.
In the last poll (Feb. 24) a few days before the Feb. 27 quake, 84% of Chileans approved of her presidential performance, but the data was not delivered until March first and therefore the doubts about the true situation.
Therefore another poll was done March 3 and 6 with approval ratings confirming the 84%, although her handling of rescue and aid efforts to the quake situation fell to 75%, but equally positive.
The Adimark poll showed that in those areas worst hit by the disaster, opinions were more critical of government but given the scope of the poll “it is insufficient to make separate reports of the different areas”.
Personal merits of the president show some differences whether they are considered before or after the quake. The overall feeling that Ms Bachelet “is loved by all Chileans” increased from 93% to 96%, the highest since taking office four years ago.
Similarly with her leadership conditions which climbed from 81% to 85%.
However the assessment of her capacity to address crisis situations dropped from 86% to 83%, still not significant.
According to Adimark points of criticism surged when assessing specific problems related to the quake: law and order (66%); availability of basic services (64%); medical attention (60%) and control of crime and disorder (35%). In this last point, 59% disapprove how the issue was addressed by the Bachelet administration.
However, although Ms Bachelet and her presidential office managed to retain her support, her cabinet ministers were not that lucky when analyzing how they faced the quake and other consequences.
Top of the list is Finance minister Andres Velasco (58%), but still down 8 points compared to before the catastrophe. Defence Minister Francisco Vidal 58% (up 6 points); Public Works minister Sergio Bitar, 43% down and Interior minister Edmundo Pérez Yoma 42% and 36% rejection.