Costa Rica’s Chinchilla is least-popular president in the Americas

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla came in last place in a ranking of Western Hemisphere leaders based on countries’ internal voter approval ratings. The ranking, conducted by Mexican firm Consulta Mitofsky, found that Chinchilla holds the worst internal approval rating in the Americas.

The study collected data from 19 countries to create a list divided into five categories of approval: outstanding, high, medium, low and very low. Chinchilla received a “very low” rating. Data included polls published by local firms, including UNIMER and CID Gallup in Costa Rica.

The region’s most popular presidents are Rafael Correa, from Ecuador, with an 81 percent approval rating, followed by Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos (67 percent approval)  and El Salvador’s Mauricio Funes (65 percent). Chinchilla received an approval rating of only 26 percent, according to recent polls, placing her at the bottom of the list. One slot above her was Chile’s Sebastián Piñera and Panama’s Ricardo Martinelli, who both have an approval rating of a dismal 33 percent.

Costa Rican Communication Minister Francisco Chacón said Chinchilla’s approval rating is low because “she has had to govern in difficult times, and the situation in the country has been anything but simple.”

U.S. President Barack Obama ranked 11th with 48 percent approval, and Canada’s Stephen Harper ranked 15th with 41 percent.

The Full List

1. Rafael Correa, Ecuador

2. Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia

3. Mauricio Funes, El Salvador

4. Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua

5. Ollanta Humala, Peru

6. Dilma Rousseff, Brazil

7. Hugo Chávez, Venezuela

8. Cristina Kirchner, Argentina

9. Leonel Fernández, Dominican Republic

10. Felipe Calderón, Mexico

11. Barack Obama, United States

12. Porfirio Lobo, Honduras

13. Fernando Lugo, Paraguay

14. José Mujica, Uruguay

15. Stephen Harper, Canada

16. Evo Morales, Bolivia

17. Ricardo Martinelli, Panama

18. Sebastián Piñera, Chile

19. Laura Chinchilla, Costa Rica