Venezuela's Maduro approval rating drops to 30 percent, poll says

| Oct. 20, 2014 | Caracas, Venezuela

Published by Reuters

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's approval rating dropped to 30.2 percent in September from 35.4 percent in July, according to a survey by pollster Datanalisis, amid an ongoing economic crisis that has weighed on his popularity.

The OPEC nation faces the highest annual inflation in the Western Hemisphere at 63.4 percent, chronic shortages of consumer goods and an economy that business leaders say has entered recession.

The poll conducted between Sept. 25 and Oct. 7 showed that 80.1 percent of those interviewed have an unfavorable perception of the country's state-led economic model, created by late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro narrowly won the presidency last year following Chavez's death from cancer and his popularity has slid consistently since then.

The overall situation of the country was viewed negatively by 81.6 percent of the population, according to the poll.

Support for Henrique Capriles, two-time opposition presidential candidate and governor of the second-most populous state of Miranda, was 42.1 percent.

That trailed slightly behind the 45.6 percent support for jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who is on trial for leading protests that sparked three months of often violent protests this year seeking Maduro's resignation.

The poll was based on interviews in 1,300 homes and has a margin of error of 2.7 percent.

(Reporting by Girish Gupta, Writing by Brian Ellsworth, Editing by W Simon)