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(Bloomberg) -- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s backing took a hit in two national opinion polls as respondents raise concerns about unchecked violence in the country.
Lopez Obrador’s approval rate fell to 59% in February from 68% in December, according to a Reforma newspaper poll published on Monday. Meanwhile, a Buendia & Laredo survey released a day earlier placed him at 62% in February, down from 67% in November.
While his popular support levels had remained largely untouched last year since taking office in December 2018, AMLO, as the president is known, is beginning to feel the impact from a record number of homicides and a stagnant economy. Murders reached their highest level last year while the economy contracted 0.1%, the worst performance since the 2009 recession.
In Reforma’s poll, 57% of respondents said violence is increasing, with 74% saying it’s rising against women. Buendia & Laredo’s poll shows security is AMLO’s weakest area.
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Protests against gender violence, including one where demonstrators sprayed graffiti on the National Palace, have put AMLO on the defensive. He says past administrations are responsible for the problem, remarks which have only raised criticism and calls for him to take action against soaring killings of women.
“The day the people don’t want me, I’ll cry and I’ll leave” into retirement, the president said when asked about the declining support in his daily press conference Monday.
In Reforma’s poll, there are slightly more respondents who see the economy improving than worsening, at 33% versus 31%. The same survey shows that 67% see the president as likable.
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The Reforma poll surveyed 1,200 people on Feb. 25-29 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points. The Buendia & Laredo poll surveyed 1,000 people on Feb. 20-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.53 percentage points.
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