Source: National Democratic Institute
U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI) released its public opinion survey, which shows respondents’ attitudes towards broad range of issues, among them foreign policy, government performance and municipal elections.
The survey was fielded by the Caucasus Resource Research Centers (CRRC) for NDI between November 29 and December 19 with the financial assistance of the UK Aid. The poll was conducted through nationwide face-to-face interviews (excluding occupied territories) with 2,298 respondents and has a margin of error plus, minus 1.9%.
According to the survey, the number of respondents who think that Georgia is going in the “wrong direction” increased to 39%, compared to 31% in June 2017. 26% of respondents think that Georgia is moving in the “right direction,” a five percentage point decrease compared to June 2017, while 32% think that Georgia is “not changing at all” (35% in June 2017).
The poll shows that respondents perceive jobs (54%), rising prices/inflation (35%), poverty (30%), pensions (25%), affordable healthcare (23%), territorial integrity (23%) and wages (20%), as the most pressing issues; these seven priority issues have not changed over the past years and were represented in various sequences in all previous polls.
The number of respondents, who support the government’s stated goal to join the European Union, has decreased to 72% from 77% in June 2017. Support for joining the European Union is high across the country with the only exception of settlements with predominantly ethnic minority populations - 51%.
64% of respondents said they approve the government’s stated goal to join NATO, a two percentage point decline compared to June 2017. 26% are against joining NATO, up from 23% in June 2017. Support for NATO membership increased to 36% from 29% in June 2017 among respondents in the settlements with predominantly ethnic minority populations.
On the question of Georgia’s foreign policy, 60% (62% in June 2017) chose the answer: “Georgia should join the European Union,” while 29% (23% in June 2017) responded: “Georgia should join the Eurasian Union.” 8% of respondents agree with neither of the statements.
According to the survey, 53% of respondents evaluated the performance of the Georgian Dream government as “average,” with 13% evaluating it as “well” and 32% as “badly.”
66% of Georgians reported that they voted in the October municipal elections. A vast majority of voters assessed the elections as “safe” (93%), “well-ordered” (93%), and “without intimidation” (92%), and said the election commission performed “average” (40%) or “well” and “very well” (42%). Almost a third (30%) of respondents, however, were not confident in the vote counting process.
Television remains to be the main source of information about Georgian politics and current events for 72% of respondents, followed by internet - 21%. Rustavi 2 and Imedi are the two most trusted television stations with 46% trust each. The Georgian Public Broadcaster enjoys 9% trust, while the figure for TV Pirveli stands at 4%.
NDI plans to publish part of the public opinion poll involving political rankings on Thursday.