A poll just released by the experienced survey research firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner puts the lie to a number of claims about Honduran public opinion, confirming that Zelaya remains more popular than de facto Honduran leader Roberto Micheletti. Holding an assembly to reform the Constitution was the most widely favored way to “deal with the current political crisis.” (Suggestions by Zelaya that a post-election assembly explore constitutional reform triggered the coup and Zelaya’s temporary exile.) From the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner press release :
Nearly four months after Honduran President Mel Zelaya was forced from office, he retains considerable public support, according to a new survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.
- By a large 22-point margin (60 to 38 percent), the Honduran public disapproves of the removal on June 28 of Zelaya as president.
- Two-thirds approve of Zelaya’s performance as president. Nineteen percent rated his performance as “excellent” and another 48 percent as “good.”
The national survey, which involved face-to-face interviews with 621 randomly selected Hondurans from October 9-13, found that Zelaya is considerably more popular than Roberto Micheletti, who has been serving as de facto president. By a 2-1 margin (57 to 28 percent), Hondurans have a negative personal opinion of Micheletti. And a slight majority gives Micheletti’s tenure as president negative marks.
The eight page “Frequency Questionnaire ” (.PDF) shows that Hondurans favor holding an assembly to reform the Honduran constitution by 54 to 43 percent — compared to 72 to 27 percent disapproval of keeping Micheletti as president. Similarly, a 55 to 43 percent majority favored amending the constitution to allow for re-election of presidents. However, respondents were split 49 to 50 percent on Mel Zelaya’s resumption as president with full powers. Interestingly — given that Zelaya is viewed by many on the right as a stalking horse for Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez — only 10 percent of a respondent split sample reported “warm” feelings towards Chavez, versus 39 percent towards Barack Obama.
The face to face interview survey sampled 621 respondents between October 9 and 13. Judging by questions about age, educational attainment, and political views, the respondent sample was youthful and slightly pro-Zelaya in the 2005 election.
The poll is a useful supplement to an excellent Al Jazeera “Fault Lines” report  on Honduras by Avi Lewis. Both halves of the 24 minute report are embedded below. Lewis concludes pessimistically,
“Through the clouds of tear gas and political spin, some clarity is emerging from this long crisis. Even with Zelaya back in the presidential palace, his time would be brief, his power minimal. Even with the de facto government gone, the coup successfully prevented any great challenge to the established order. […] Whatever story the world hears about elections and the transition back to democracy in Honduras, there will continue to be struggle, resistance, and loss. And there will still be people here who are living in fear.”
Perhaps the poll will help restore some balance in coverage and understanding of the Honduran struggle.
UPDATE, 10/23: Nell reminds me that there was a Honduran poll in late August (noted by her  and republished by Al Giordano  earlier this month) done by the Honduran firm COIMER & OP, with a larger sample (about 1500 people) and broadly similar results.