U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI) released on August 25 its commissioned public opinion survey, which shows respondents’ attitudes towards broad range of policy and current issues.
The survey was fielded by the Caucasus Resource Research Centers (CRRC) for NDI after the second round of local elections in a period between July 23 and August 7 and was funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The survey was conducted through nationwide face-to-face interview with 3,338 respondents and has a margin of error plus, minus 2.9%.
38% of respondents, according to the recent survey, think Georgia is “not changing at all” and 16% think it is moving in the wrong direction, compared to 19% in April.
50% of respondents believe that ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili continues to be a decision-maker in the actions of the government, down from 62% in April. 17% believe that he’s no longer a decision-maker in government’s actions and 28% say they do not know.
36% of those who think that Ivanishvili continues to be a decision-maker approve it and 53% disapprove.
55% say they approve Constitutional Court’s decision repealing suspension of sale of agriculture land to foreign citizens and 20% disapprove; 24% said they did not know.
73% of respondents say that the Church should not engage in election campaign and 16% find it acceptable.
The question was asked in the context of a controversial sermon by a senior cleric from the Georgian Orthodox Church, bishop Jakob, who ahead of the second round runoff of local elections, called not to vote for opposition UNM party.
63% of respondents said they disapprove such calls from the bishop, who acts as one of the three deputies to the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II; 13% said they approve it.
Jobs, poverty and territorial integrity remain “the most important national issues” for respondents.
69% of respondents approve signing of the Association Agreement between Georgia and the EU and 8% disprove; 22% of respondents did not know.
58% of those respondents who approve signing of the Association Agreement believe that it will improve Georgia’s economy; 35% said they approve it because it would lead to visa free travel; 33% cited greater security for Georgia; 17% say they approve this agreement because it would strengthen democracy; 13% believe it will create more jobs and 10% think it will improve chances to restore the territorial integrity.
20% of respondents agree with the statement that Georgia should join Russian-led Eurasian Union – up from 11% in November, 2013 and 16% in April, 2014.
59% said they agree with the statement Georgia should join the EU, down from 65% in April, 2014.
19% of respondents believe that Georgia will “benefit more from abandoning Euro-Atlantic integration in favor of better relations with Russia”, the same as in April, and 54% believes that the country will “benefit more from the Euro-Atlantic integration” – the figure stood at 59% in April.
Support for government’s "stated goal" to join the EU and NATO stands at 78% and 72%, respectively, the same as in April.
Number of respondents, who think that Russia is “a real and existing threat” to Georgia, declined from 50% in April to 42% in August. 36% think that Russia “is a threat to Georgia but it is exaggerated.”
15% of respondents think that Russia is “no threat to Georgia at all”, which is statistically almost the same level recorded in April.