(posted April 26, 5:10 a.m.)- For the sixth consecutive year, Nicaraguan Police Chief Aminta Granera continues to be the most popular public figure in Nicaragua, topping the charts with an 83.6% favorability rating, according to poll published this week by M&R Consultants. But while the top cop used to be alone in the catbird seat, she can now hear the footsteps of President Daniel Ortega and first lady Rosario Murillo who are climbing the rungs behind her.
President Ortega currently ranks as the second most popular public figure on the chart, with a 78.7% favorability rating, followed closely by his wife, who slipped a rung to third place with a 77.3% rating, according to the M&R survey. The presidential couple has climbed dramatically in the polls since taking power in 2007. In December 2007, the president had a 43.4% favorability rating and Murillo was in the cellar with 35%.
Army General Julio Cesar Aviles and former president Violeta Chamorro are tied in fourth place in the current poll with a 62% favorability rating. Philanthropist Vivian Pellas is the fifth place with a 55.7% favorability rating, followed by Catholic Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes, 54.4%. COSEP president Jose Adan Aguerri leads the private sector with a 31.8% favorability rating, while former vice presidential candidate Edmundo Jarquin has the highest favorability rating among opposition leaders, with 36.9%.
Among institutions, the Nicaraguan Army enjoys the highest level of public confidence, with 88.6%, followed by the National Police, 83.3%, and the media, 82%. The Presidency ranks fifth with a 68.5% confidence level, and the Catholic Church ranks seventh, with 61.5%.
The Sandinista affiliated Councils of Citizen Power (CPCs) and the Liberal opposition parties have the highest negative ratings. More than 55% of the population mistrusts the CPCs, while 83% have a lack of confidence in the opposition parties.
The ruling Sandinista Front has the support of 59% of the population, while 31% claim to be independents and less than 10% identify as members of the opposition parties, according the M&R poll, which surveyed 1,600 across the country in face to face interviews between April 2-18. The survey claims a 2.5% margin of error.
Overall, 66.4% of Nicaraguans approve of the Ortega government, the M&R survey found.