Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with 70% approval is the most popular leader in the Americas while in the other extreme Argentina's Cristina Kirchner and Honduras Manuel Zelaya appear with popularity below 30%, according to the prestigious Mexican pollster Consulta Mitofsky.
Thanks to President Barack Obama, (and the exit of George Bush) North America is now the world's region with the highest approval rating of its leaders.
In Latin America, Lula and Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe who got 69% are followed by Mexico's Felipe Calderon (68%) and Antonio Saca (66%) from El Salvador, with ratings considered outstanding in spite of the fact that the Mexican leader's party PAN is forecasted to be considerably weakened in the coming July mid term elections and Mr. Saca's party Arena, lost to the opposition in the recent presidential election.
The list follows with the names of those leaders in the "high rating," between 55% and 65% support and includes Ecuador's Rafael Correa 60%; United States's Barack Obama 61%; Fernando Lugo from Paraguay 60%; Chile's Michelle Bachelet 59% and Evo Morales, Bolivia 58%. The outstanding position belongs to Ms Bachelet who has managed to recover from a serious prolonged downturn.
The so called "medium rating," from 40% to 55% includes three presidents from Central America, Costa Rica's Oscar Arias (49%); Panama's Omar Torrijos (48%) and Guatemala's Alvaro Colon (45%), plus Tabare Vazquez, from Uruguay with a perceived performance approval of 53%. In this group Mr. Arias climbed five percentage points from the previous reading.
The "low rating" ranging between 35 and 40% has Dominican Republic president Leonel Fernandez with 38%; Daniel Ortega from Nicaragua 38% and a significant rebound, and Peru's Alan Garcia, 34%. Finally the "lowest rating" is for Mrs. Kirchner in Argentina (29%) and Mr. Zelaya from Honduras (25%).
The Mitofsky report also includes seven out of the region leaders with their perceived performances ratings according to the following order: Primer Minister Kevin Rudd from Australia, 70%; Silvio Berlusconi, Italy 56%; Donald Tsang, Hong Kong 55%; Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain 50%; Nicholas Sarkozy, France 38%; UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown 36% and Philippines Gloria Macapagal Arroyo 26%.
Mitofsky points out that the recompilation of data must be interpreted as a measure of each country's public opinion perceived performance of their leaders and results of their policies and that it is a limited assessment since it can't totally measure efficiency and achievements of the different administrations.
The Mexican pollster also underlines that they consider themselves entirely responsible for the data on Mexico, since in the rest of the continent the work was done with local pollsters, with whom they agreed on the data methodology and assessment techniques.
Mitofsky points out that those interviews were done between November 2008 and March 2009, according to the different countries, but it does not explain why Venezuela and Canada were not included in the report.