Gyeonggi Governor tops hopefuls poll in the ruling bloc

Feb 01, 2021, 09:21 am

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AsiaToday reporter Lee Jang-won

With about a year left for the March 9 presidential election, a significant change about favorability of potential presidential candidates in the ruling Democratic Party (DP) is in the air. In a survey conducted by R&Search from Jan. 28-29, the approval ratings for Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung and Prime Minister Chung Sye-kun rose in the pan-ruling bloc, while the approval ratings for Rep. Lee Nak-yon, head of the ruling DP, fell. In the general poll, Gov. Lee led the poll, while Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl and Rep. Lee followed. 

The survey, commissioned by AsiaToday, had a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level. 

In the survey of favorability among ruling bloc candidates, Gov. Lee topped the list with 30.4 percent, followed by Rep. Lee with 14.9 percent, PM Chung with 6.2 percent and former DP lawmaker Kim Boo-kyeom with 2.4 percent. Support for Gov. Lee and PM Chung rose 4.7 percentage points and 2.3 percentage points, respectively, from a month earlier. However, support for Rep. Lee dropped 2.7 percentage points. What’s catching attention is that support for Chung, who had worked at a conglomerate, was especially high among respondents from business management sector with 14.5 percent, higher than that of DP leader Lee with 9.8 percent. Amid the prolonged economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the capability to recover the economy is expected to be one of the key factors for the national judgment in the next presidential election.

As Rep. Lee had promoted himself as one of the key candidates with his stable handling of state affairs, some observers say Chung is expected to become one of the three powerful candidates in the ruling bloc along with Lee Jae-myung and Lee Nak-yon, once he decides to run the presidential race after overcoming the current COVID-19 situation to some extent and withdrawing from the present post. Another interesting point to note is the battle between the former and current prime ministers of the Moon Jae-in administration. When asked who worked better as a prime minister, 25.3 percent chose Chung while 24.3 percent picked Lee. 13.5 percent of respondents said that “both” worked well. 

Among those in the pan-opposition bloc, 13.7 percent of respondents showed support for independent lawmaker Hong Joon-pyo, 8.9 percent for former lawmaker and member of People Power Party Yoo Seong-min, 8.6 percent for former Seoul mayor Oh Se-hoon, 7.6 percent for Won Hee-ryong, and 4.3 percent for former People Power Party leader Hwang Kyo-ahn. 36.7 percent of respondents picked “none”, and 11.7 percent chose “other than them.” Nearly 4 out of 10 Koreans seem to judge that they do not have a favorite presidential candidate among the runners in the pan-opposition bloc. 

However, when Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl was included in the presidential hopefuls poll, he ranked second with 18.2 percent of support, following Gov. Lee with 26.9 percent. Rep. Lee ranked third with 15.5 percent, followed by Hong with 7.0 percent and Chung with 3.5 percent. When Yoon was excluded in the survey, there was no significant difference in the support ratings for other candidates. Gov. Lee rose slightly to 29.5 percent while Rep. Lee stood at 15.0 percent and Hong at 9.5 percent. 

#Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung #Yoon Seok-youl #Lee Nak-yon #Chung Sye-kyun #presidential hopefuls 
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