Prime minister Narendra Modi is even more popular today than he was before being elected, according to a survey of 2,464 individuals, by Pew Research Center, a Washington, DC-based opinion pollster. The survey was conducted between February 21 and March 10, 2017--after demonetisation and before the roll-out of the Goods & Services Tax.

The share of people reporting they viewed Modi favourably rose 10 percentage points to 88% in early 2017 from 78% in 2013. His approval ratings are high across the country, the highest being in the south (95%), where Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not in power in any of the four states surveyed (Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka), and lowest in the north (84%), where BJP is in power in four of the six states surveyed (Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh).

Modi remains the most popular national political leader in the country, way ahead of his competitors, with 88% of Indians in Pew’s sample viewing him favourably against 58% for Rahul Gandhi, 57% of Sonia Gandhi and 39% for Arvind Kejriwal.

In May 2017, 44% Indians said they would prefer Modi as prime minister, in a survey of 11,373 individuals at 584 locations in 146 parliamentary constituencies spread across 19 states by New Delhi-based political research organisation Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). None of Modi’s competitors polled in double digits in the CSDS survey.

Four days after breaking an alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Indian National Congress, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had said that Modi faced no challenger in 2019 general elections, the Indian Express reported on August 1, 2017.

A much larger share of Indians today also believe that the country is prospering and is headed in the right direction, with a rise of 26 percentage points to 83% in 2017 from 57% in 2013 and 41 percentage points to 70% from 29% on those two questions, respectively.

The share of those reporting Modi had delivered on his promise of “acche din” (good days) was 63% in the CSDS survey.

We storified our tweets on the findings:

(Vivek is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)

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