Gyeonggi governor leads in presidential hopeful poll

Jan 01, 2021, 09:05 am

print page small font big font

facebook share

tweet share

AsiaToday reporter Lee Jang-won 

Lee Jae-myung, governor of Gyeonggi Province, topped an opinion poll on potential presidential candidates with 25.6 percent of support, surpassing Lee Nak-yon, the ruling Democratic Party (DP) chief and a former prime minister with 17.6 percent. In the pan-opposition bloc, Ahn Cheol-soo, the head of the minor opposition People’s Party who announced his bid to run in the next Seoul mayoral by-election, took the lead with 13.1 percent, followed by independent lawmaker Hong Joon-pyo with 10.8 percent, former four-term conservative lawmaker Yoo Seong-min with 9.5 percent, and former Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon with 8.4 percent. 

AsiaToday conducted a presidential hopeful poll at the start of a new year. With the next presidential election slated for March 9, 2020, the poll found that three out of ten South Koreans have not yet decided which candidate to support, raising possibility of significant changes in the presidential race. 

In the survey conducted from Dec. 24-26 by pollster R&Search on behalf of AsiaToday, the favorability of the Gyeonggi governor stood at 25.7 percent, overtaking Lee Nak-yon with 17.6 percent. What is drawing attention is that Justice minister Choo Mi-ae, who recently stepped down from the post after locking in a bitter conflict with Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl over the prosecutorial reform, followed by 5.3 percent. 

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun’s favorability rating stood at 3.9 percent. Honam region showed relatively strong support for Chung with 8.2 percent. It seems the worsening outbreak of COVID-19 is adversely affecting the favorability rating of the prime minister. However, experts believe Chung’s support will get a boost when the situation gets better and he starts to run for president due to his presence in the ruling bloc and his low unfavorable ratings in the conservative bloc and conservative regions.

Among opposition figures, Ahn is leading the race with 13.1 percent, followed by Hong with 10.8 percent and Yoo with 9.5 percent. However, 12.6 percent of respondents said they will choose other figure while 30.9 percent said they had no preferred figure. Meanwhile, if Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl jumps into politics to run for president, it is expected to have a considerable impact on the presidential race. 

The poll showed 41.8 percent of respondents favor an opposition party candidate while 35.7 percent back a ruling party candidate. In Seoul, where the mayoral by-election will take place in April, 45.6 percent supported the opposition bloc while 34.0 percent supported the ruling party bloc. By age, all age groups except those in their 40s predicted the opposition will win the race. 

When asked for the reason for predicting the opposition’s victory, 64.0 percent of the respondents said the Moon administration needs to be judged. On the other hand, among those who predicted the ruling party’s victory, 28.7 percent said they support President Moon Jae-in while 18.7 percent said they want prosecutorial reform. Besides, 31.7 percent of the respondents said there is no preferred figure in the opposition bloc. 

Disapproval ratings of President Moon Jae-in stood at 58.8 percent while approval rating came at 37.1 percent. Disapproval rating was the highest among respondents in their 20s with 70.6 percent. Along with employment and housing issues, the fact that the Moon administration blamed the young generation for the spread of COVID-19 seemingly had an impact on the result. On the other hand, the president has a strong support base among those in their 40s (51.2%) and those living in Honam region (63.1%). 

Nearly four out of ten respondents (39.4%) chose ‘real estate-related regulations and tax policy’ improvement as the most urgent issue to handle.

The survey was conducted on 1,020 people aged 18 or older nationwide. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.

#presidential hopeful poll #Lee Jae-myung #Ahn Cheol-soo #Lee Nak-yon 
Copyright by Asiatoday