The jury still is out on the approval rating of President Luis Guillermo Solís in comparison with other Latin leaders.
Vanderbilt University’s survey of approval ratings that was published Thursday showed that Costa Rica shared the cellar with Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro. But what the summary did not say was that the Maduro rating was from February 2014 and that the Costa Rican rating stemmed for late April and the first week of May, also 2014. Those dates were deep within the methodology details. A reader pointed out the discrepancy.
The approval estimate comes from a time when the president here was Laura Chinchilla and not Solís.
On a scale from 0 to 100, Maduro scored an average of 34.3 in presidential job approval, according to the survey. That places Venezuela at the very bottom of its Latin American and Caribbean counterparts.
The rating for Costa Rica is 37. Most of the other countries in the region score in the 50s and 60s.
Ms. Chinchilla’s lack of public support was well known at the time and clearly shown by the strong voter support for Solís, who was the candidate of the Partido Acción Ciudadana.
Solís seems to be having some image problems now, but that is not reflected by the Vanderbilt study.
The university muddied the waters a bit by making extensive mention of Maduro’s current problems in Venezuelan, including the fact that he just had arrested opposition figure Antonio Ledezma, mayor of Caracas, on conspiracy charges for an alleged coup plot against the president.
Recent reports that 220,000 workers are unemployed as well as a declining economy and lack of governmental transparency have eroded support for Solís in the last few months.
In December a Universidad de Costa Rica poll estimated that just 40.2 percent of the public thought he was doing a good or very good job.
However, a CID Gallup Latinoamérica report in October said he had a 66 percent approval rating.