Venezuela leader's popularity jumps before election

Dec 02, 2015, 4:58 PM EST
(flickr/Joka Madruga)
(flickr/Joka Madruga)

President Nicolas Maduro's popularity is up, but perhaps not by enough, estimate pollsters. Reuters reports: 

Thanks to public ire with a brutal economic crisis caused by dysfunctional controls and the oil price plunge, the opposition has its best shot in 16 years at winning the National Assembly from the ruling Socialists.

But in a boost to the hopes of government candidates, Maduro's popularity jumped more than 11 points to 32.3 percent in late November, according to the survey by Datanalisis seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

The firm's head, Luis-Vicente Leon, said this week the ruling "Chavista" movement, named for Maduro's predecessor, Hugo Chavez, had reaped reward for going on the attack against foes, distributing resources in key districts, and reviving the memory of the popular former president during the campaign.

The International Business Times writes: 

Thousands of Venezuelans have been pouring out of their home country in recent months as it’s spiraled into ever-deeper crisis levels under the socialist administration of President Nicolás Maduro. Venezuela, home to the largest oil reserves in the world, became one of the world’s worst performing

economies this year, with triple-digit inflation, severe shortages of basic household goods and soaring rates of violent crime propelling those who can afford it to leave the country. The festering crisis is set to hit a pivotal point Sunday, when Venezuelans vote in long-awaited parliamentary elections that could

put the political opposition back into a seat of power for the first time since late President Hugo Chávez took office in 1999.