Ramaphosa more popular than Maimane, Malema, poll shows


Exactly a month before the election, polling statistics show President Cyril Ramaphosa is more popular with national voters than his counterparts in the country’s two largest opposition parties, the DA and EFF.
This is according to the Voter Cheat Sheet, published on Sunday by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR). The poll was conducted in February.
The poll is seen to be a snapshot in time and not a prediction, and showed that ANC numbers continued to drop, while the DA was battling to keep its outright majority in its Western Cape stronghold. It also showed that there might not be an outright winner in Gauteng.
The favourability of its leader, Ramaphosa, could be a saving grace for the ANC, which ahead of the May poll is grappling with allegations of corruption and state capture against a number of its senior leaders.
The ANC’s own internal survey found that Ramaphosa was more popular than the party, according to a report by the Sunday Times in February.
The poll, which was conducted by the ANC’s research unit, reportedly showed that Ramaphosa had an approval rating of 73% among SA voters, whereas only 60% of those polled were pleased with the party.
The IRR said favourability of leaders is a helpful political indicator as it gives an idea of a party’s pool of potential in the electoral market. "Political leaders are typically examplars for a party’s message," it said.
"If a voter feels favourable towards a leader, they are more likely to listen to that leader’s message, and can potentially be won over to their party."
The poll found that all three leaders — Ramaphosa, the DA’s Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema of the EFF — enjoyed higher favourability ratings than their respective parties.
According to the IRR’s leader favourability ratings, 60.4% of national voters felt very or somewhat favourable towards Ramaphosa, compared to 32.6% for Malema. Maimane is the least favourable, with 31.5% of voters expressing their preference for him.
Ramaphosa’s approval rating in Gauteng is slightly higher than his national favourability at 60.6%. Maimane is the second- most favourable leader among Gauteng’s voters at 35.7%, while Malema is the least preferred with a 34% rating.
The DA is hoping to bring the ANC below 50% in SA’s economic hub. If it succeeds, Gauteng could be run by a coalition government, like Johannesburg’s.
On job approval ratings, 60.1% of national voters strongly or somewhat approve of the job Ramaphosa was doing as president of SA. Ramaphosa took the reins of government after the resignation of former president Jacob Zuma in February 2018, with a promise to clean up state institutions that had been destroyed by state capture.
A total of 41.5% of national voters approved of the job Maimane was doing as leader of the opposition, and 38.4% approved of the job Malema was doing as leader of the EFF...

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