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Friday, December 11, 2009

Ahmadinejad losing support even among his conservative base

Foreign Policy reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad is losing support even among his conservative base.
The demonstrations that erupted on Dec. 7 in cities across Iran included not only Westernized students but conservative Iranians as well. The Islamic Republic attempted to thwart the rally by shutting down Internet access, but thousands of Iranians nevertheless marched in the streets. The protests included not only Westernized students, but religious and conservative Iranians as well -- evidence that conservative Iranians are becoming more and more opposed to the state, even if their response is not usually to participate in social unrest.

It's not just protesters, either. A groundbreaking Iranian survey, first published on insideIRAN.org, shows that, in provinces where Ahmadinejad once held widespread support, Iranians now say they wished they had not voted for him.

The polling surveyed more than 11,000 people from 11 rural and small villages in the provinces of Fars and Isfahan. Polling was conducted in four intervals from the summer of 2008, before the contested June 12 presidential election, to the fall of 2009. In the two pre-election polls, respondents were asked to state their choice of candidate. In the two post-election polls, respondents were asked for their views on the disputed election.

Before the election, Ahmadinejad had enjoyed 58 percent support in rural areas and 44 percent support in the small urban areas. After the election, however, it was a different story. The two post-election polls showed that 39 percent of the youth and 23 percent of those over 45 who had voted for Ahmadinejad now regretted their vote. The reasons for this included the rape, murder, and torture of young men and women who participated in demonstrations after the June presidential election and the belief that Ahmadinejad was to blame for the country's economic crisis. In fact, 57 percent of those who said they no longer supported Ahmadinejad admitted that they had received money from Ahmadinejad's subsidy program, which was designed to solidify the president's support among poorer segments of Iran's population. Still, they said, even the money wasn't enough to keep their support.

Read the whole thing.

If Ahmadinejad keeps up like this, he could yet catch up to Obama. Heh.


At 5:13 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

A question of popularity is irrelevant in a dictatorship. The Iranian regime has the monopoly of force and the will to rule. Its is not going to make the same mistake as the Shah.


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