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IRI’s poll of Georgia on support for COVID-19 management and concerns over Economy

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, August 13
The survey conducted on behalf of IRI’s Center for Survey Research by Dr. Rasa Alisauskiene of Baltic Surveys/Gallup organisation regards Georgian people’s opinion on COVID-19 management throughout the country. As IRI states, a nationwide poll “reveals strong support for the Government’s management of COVID-19, as well as significant concerns about pandemic’s economic impact.”

According to the research, 41% of the surveyed people are ‘very satisfied’ with the government’s response to the COVID-19, 38% are ‘somewhat satisfied’, 7% are ‘very unsatisfied’ and 13% are ‘somewhat unsatisfied’. The poll shows that 37% are ‘somewhat satisfied’ with the Government’s effort to address the economic consequences of COVID-19, while 19% said to be ‘very satisfied’ and 24% are ‘somewhat satisfied’.

The survey found that 37% ‘fully’ and 32% ‘somewhat’ approved the Georgian Orthodox Church’s decision to hold religious rituals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision is ‘somewhat’ disapproved by 14% and ‘fully’ disapproved by 8%.

47% of the people who participated in the poll believe that the USA was the most helpful country to Georgia in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. China was named by 6%, the European Union by 4%, Germany and Turkey with 1%.

32% of the Georgian citizens said the current economic situation in their household to be ‘somewhat good’ and 43% answered ‘somewhat bad’ on the same question. Only 2% described their economic situation as ‘very good’.

According to the latest results of June 2020, more people(36%) think that Georgia is headed in the right direction, in comparison to the data of October 2019 (22%).

46% consider that the most important problem faced by the country is ‘Economy-Unemployment’, 17% is concerned about ‘Economy- the cost of living, high prices’ the most. Poverty which was answered by 10% is then followed by ‘Economy- other/general’ (6%), COVID-19 pandemic (4%), occupied territories (3%), Internal conflicts; Education; Healthcare (2%) and Corruption; Social services/benefits; Agriculture, Current government (1%).

The following statement “I am satisfied with the current state of democracy in Georgia” is ‘somewhat’ agreed by 41%, ‘somewhat’ disagreed by 25%, ‘strongly’ agreed by 14%, and ‘strongly’ disagreed by 17%.

On the question “If parliamentary elections were held this coming Sunday, for which party would you vote?” Georgian Dream was answered to be their first choice by 33%, United National Movement by 16%, and European Georgia by 5%.

The survey showed that in the list of Georgian public and spiritual figures, Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia the 2nd is ‘favorable’ for 89% and ‘unfavorable’ for only 6% of the community. The second place is held by Amiram Gamkrelidze, who is favored by 74% and unfavoured by 17%. The PM of Georgia is ‘favorable’ for 63% and ‘unfavorable’ for 31%.

72% of the surveyed citizens believe that Russian aggression towards Georgia is still going on. 40% supports further dialogue with Russia, 35% somewhat supports the above and 14% strongly opposes.

According to the poll, 56% ‘fully’ and 22% ‘somewhat’ supports the idea of joining NATO. Joining the European Union is fully supported by 64% and somewhat supported by 23%.

The survey was conducted between June 4th and July 2nd, 2020. Data was collected using a stratified multistage probability sampling method through in-person, in-home interviews. The sample consists of 1,500 respondents aged 18 and over and eligible to vote. The data was weighted for age, gender, region, and settlement size. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percent and the response rate was 66 percent. This survey was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the U.S. Agency for International Development.