Venezuela's approval for President Maduro and Chavismo hit new low

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro's ratings hit an all time low in recent polls, and more than 85 percent of Venezuelans say the country is on the wrong track.

Miraflores Palace/Reuters
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a cabinet meeting at Miraflores Palace in Caracas in this December 2 photo.

 David Smilde is the moderator of WOLA's blog: Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights. The views expressed are the author's own.

President Nicolas Maduro’s job approval ratings have hit an all time low for him and for Chavismo. Datanalisis’s November poll puts the number at 24.5 percent, meaning he has dropped 5.7 percent [approval] since September and 26 percent since narrowly defeating Henrique Capriles in April 2013. Fully 85.7 percent of respondents think the country is on the wrong track.

Perhaps most worrying for President Maduro is that his numbers have slid so far without having taken on unpopular economic reforms such as devaluing the currency or raising gas prices.

Looking at previous Datanalisis polls using the same methodology, Hugo Chávez was in the low 30s from mid-2002 to mid-2003, reaching a low of 30.8 percent approval in June 2003. 

In 2009 a survey of Venezuelan political culture by the Centro Gumilla found that 31 percent of their respondents espoused the basic beliefs of 21st Century Socialism. I had assumed that that made 30 percent Chavismo’s bedrock. But Maduro’s popularity has descended below that.

I will be looking out for data on Chavismo and the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela more broadly to see if their popularity levels are descending as fast as Maduro’s. This would indicate whether the disenchantment is aimed at Chavismo as a model of governance, Maduro as Chávez’s successor, or both.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Venezuela's approval for President Maduro and Chavismo hit new low
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today