Popularity bugged?

I’ve been trying many different runs since getting the game, and regardless of how I play I barely see the popularity indicator move over 7%. I have successfully tackled major problems (brought crime and/or poverty to zero) with massive boosts in certain polls, yet popularity and voter turn out are always amazingly low.

I often will take a massive effort into Criminal Justice Reform, that in D3 would either get me a second term or close to it. In D4, I do something very similar that leads to sizable boosts in both Liberal and Conservative polls. However, the popularity somehow manages to actually go lower…

  1. Does this sound correct in any way to you?
  2. Have you experianced this as well?
  3. Hints to aviod X and do Y?
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How odd. Doesn’t sound at all right to me. Usually bringing crime down gets popularity up from near-zero levels and then some well-chosen anti-poverty can push you near or over 50% (unless other crises get out of hand). It makes me wonder what else you’re doing or not doing that keeps your popularity below 10%. Are you permanently in debt crisis or something?


No, and I have tried many different approches. Surplus, Deficit, killing unpopular programs (particularly in law and order)

I’m seriously thinking about a wipe and reinstall

I feel like there is a rather major bug here. I noticed that my popularity seemed to instantly plummet to 2% after the first turn regardless of what I did, and it became near impossible to get it up to anything close to 50% even going all-out pandering without a care for long-term consequences.

After a bit of playing around I found there is 100% a bug of some kind involved. When loading up the game and starting a new run as America, popularity is around 20% initially. After immediately hitting next turn it nosedives to 2%. However, the really weird thing is if you then go back to the main menu and start a new game, the STARTING popularity is around 2% instead of 20%. If you exit the game completely and restart, the next new game you make has a starting popularity of 20% again.

Screenshots -

After taking 1 turn:

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After returning to the main menu and starting a new game with exactly the same settings:

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Thats super weird. I’ll look into it…

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Looking into this now…can confirm it happens. errr…

I am 95% certain that initial drop is due to a donor quitting, and making you seem a weak leader. This can be seen in the electioneering screen, perceptions. Its pretty unfair this happens BEFORE the first turn, so I’m altering the code to prevent donors quitting in the first 2 turns of the game. I’m still investigating why it would be different when starting a new game…

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OK… found some definite bugs relating to the early calculation of voter happiness… basically relating to stuff like donors, and perceptions and ministers not being ready for the voters to evaluate them at the start…

…fixing all this has meant a massive jump in starting popularity for the US mission, which is very welcome, and I’m hoping that fixes this too.


I don’t know if that is important, but I noticed it happening not only with the USA, but also other countries, just thought it might be good to tell you.

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Yup it definitely was not USA specific, it wae to do with the state of the country at the start, and how impacted it is by ministers, party fundraising and activists. The USA scenario just happened to be a strong example.

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@cliffski I forgot to reply to this so long ago but the patch helped a lot and has made for a much more enjoyable US run. I am currently trying the game out more (I have been busy, and will be posting more as I can. (I did just make a post on VAT.))