During two terms in office, Álvaro Uribe enjoyed very high approval ratings. This deviates from the typical approval patterns exhibited by most executives in the region and from prior Colombian presidents. In this paper we give elements to understand what explains Uribe’s eight-year honeymoon. Here we argue that Uribe’s popularity was the interplay of three factors: A ruling style that allowed him to build an affective link with citizens. Uribe’s ability to create a rally-around-the-flag atmosphere regarding the internal armed conflict. And a booming economy. Using regression models based on cross-national and survey data results indicate that: Uribe exhibited high approval ratings because he was part of a group of Latin American executives who developed a government style based on an emotional link with people, and that those citizens who saw the internal conflict as the main problem in Colombia and were more exposed to Uribe’s messages about the insurgent threat were more likely to support him.
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