According to four public opinion polls, President Lenin Moreno’s support among Ecuadorian voters is “off the charts.”
Conducted over the past two weeks, the polls give Moreno positive percentages ranging from the high-70s to mid-80s. “At this point, his support is unprecedented since public opinion polling began in Ecuador more than 40 years ago,” says Santiago Cuesta, director of CMS Polling. “The president has no serious opposition and the attacks from the ex-president (Rafael Correa) and the vice president (Jorge Glas) are actually making Moreno more popular.”
CMS puts Moreno’s popularity at 79.14% in a poll of 19,536 people conducted in all of Ecuador’s 24 provinces.
According to Cuesta, the CMS polling sample found that people appreciate Moreno’s willingness to talk to former opponents and his non-confrontational style. They also support his efforts to arrest corrupt officials, including former cabinet ministers of the Correa administration. “When Moreno says there will be no sacred cows in the bribery investigation, more than 90% of the people are behind him,” he says.
“Moreno is also showing strong support from moderate and conservative voters, many of who opposed him during the election,” Cuesta adds.
The Perfiles de Opinión poll puts support for Moreno at 86%, the highest positive number ever recorded according to Perfiles chief Paulina Recalde. Her poll interviewed almost 10,000 voters in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. “The biggest factor in the president’s high numbers is his fight against corruption and his friendly personal style, which people find to be a welcome contrast to the style of Rafael Correa,” says Recalde, who calls Moreno’s ratings “off the charts.”
Ecuador’s oldest polling firm, Cedatos, gives Moreno an approval rating of 76.5%, up from 60% immediately after the election, while the Market pollsters rate him at 83% as of mid-August.
In addition to fighting corruption and a change to a friendlier style, Blasco Peñaherrera of Market says that voters feel a personal connection with Moreno that they did not have with Correa. “They view his actions so far to be very intelligent and to have their best interests in mind,” says Peñaherrera. “The president has very strong support among the poor.”
If Moreno’s numbers are looking good, those of Vice President Jorge Glas, who is fighting bribery charges, and Correa are dismal. In the Pefiles poll, Glas rated 24%, down from 43% immediately after the election. In a University of San Francsico poll, Correa has dropped from 42% popularity in May to 31% in early August.
“Correa is hurting himself badly by insulting Moreno and he is also hurting his Alianza Pais supporters in the National Assembly,” Peñaherrera says.