“Poll Finds Only Narrow Majority Supports Egypt’s Expected Big Winner”
The New York Times, May 23, 2014, p.A8
“The former general who is universally expected to win a landslide victory in next week’s presidential election has the support of only a narrow majority of Egyptians, according to a poll released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. The poll is the most significant measurement of Egyptian public opinion since the former general, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, led the ouster last summer of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s first freely elected leader. The current military-backed government has cited a day of massive street protests against Mr. Morsi last June 30 to argue that the vast majority of Egyptians demanded his ouster, so his removal should not be considered a military coup. The Pew poll casts doubt on the size of that majority. Conducted in late April, it found that only 54 percent of Egyptians favored Mr. Morsi’s removal while 43 percent opposed it. Similarly, 54 percent of Egyptians had a favorable image of Mr. Sisi and 45 percent viewed him negatively. In fact, according to the poll, the level of Mr. Sisi’s support is comparable to that of Mr. Morsi just weeks before his ouster — 53 percent of Egyptians said they held a favorable opinion of Mr. Morsi in a Pew Center poll conducted last spring. … The poll found that four out of 10 Egyptians still have a favorable view of the Brotherhood, down from about 6 in 10 last spring. Based on face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults throughout Egypt, the poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points. The results indicated that a surge in hope after the uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 has now given way to a depth of pessimism not seen since the months before Mr. Mubarak was overthrown. Seventy-two percent of Egyptians said they were dissatisfied with the way things were going and only 24 percent were satisfied — figures slightly darker than those of 2010.”
Quickie Analysis: Findings like these throw a wrench in attempts to mask dictatorship with popularity.