Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kaoshiung Polls: TVBS has Chen Chu out in front comfortably

When last we saw, DPP turncoat and current Kaohsiung county chief Yang Chiu-hsing had formally announced that he was running as an independent in the election for mayor in the new Kaohsiung municipality against current Kaohsiung city mayor Chen Chu and some KMT sacrificial lamb.

The latest TVBS poll has Chen Chu out in front and actually gaining slightly on Yang. TVBS says if the election were tomorrow on May 27, July 29, and August 10, respectively....

Chen Chu..............62 43 46
Yang Chiu-hsing..... -- 26 28
KMT..................... 26 16 14

Chen Chu's gain is within the margin of error of the poll, so it is hard to say how real it is, especially given TVBS' usual underreporting of pro-Green votes.

What is the situation here? Do we have two candidates from the pan-Green, or two from the pan-Blue? The poll has Chen Chu up over Yang 41-36 in Kaohsiung County, and up 52-20 in Kaohsiung city. But the interesting thing is the numbers by previous election choice. According to TVBS, of voters in the 2005 county chief election, Chen Chu gets 60% of the votes that went for Yang in 2005 plus 12% of the KMT votes. Yang, by contrast, draws 35% of the DPP voters in that election but 45% from KMT voters. Similarly, for voters in the 2006 Kaohsiung mayor election that Chen Chu won by a nose, Chen Chu draws 80% of the DPP votes plus 17% of those who voted KMT, while Yang does even worse: just 10% are DPP voters, vs 36% from KMT voters in that election. For the 2008 presidential election, Yang takes just 15% from DPP voters, but 40% from KMT.

In other words, Yang appears to be drawing the bulk of his support from would-be KMT voters -- the light blues and blue-leaning independent voters. Rather than splitting the Greens, Yang has split the Blues. Chen Chu's performance in Kaohsiung has not only assured her support from DPP voters but also won over the bulk of swing voters as well. Another indicator that Yang is drawing support from the KMT is that support for the KMT's Huang has actually fallen slightly since Yang has entered the race.

Meanwhile Yang's complaints about the DPP administration in the South, and the DPP in general, are simply regurgitating the KMT line about the DPP. If Yang wanted to conciliate them and gather up Green voters, he is taking precisely the wrong line. Commentators are positing that Yang's real function now will be to collect votes for Ma and the KMT in the 2012 election.

Good luck with that.
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Anonymous said...

Yang's strategy is clearly to consolidate the Blue vote, and he is tacking hard to the right in order to do so. He does have to do that in order to have a chance of winning.

But he also needs to grab a large portion of the green vote! The numbers in Kaohsiung, with Ma's complete incompetence and the fatigue over Chen Shui-bian means that to win, Yang just needs lots and lots of votes, both from Green and Blue.

His strategy is necessary, yet self-defeating as Greens consolidate even more solidly around Chen Chu in the aftermath of Yang's perceived betrayal of Green core values in an attempt to grab Blue votes.

Sorry, but there is just no winning strategy for Yang.

daniel said...

The KMT knows it has no chance of winning Kaohsiung. So it is happy for this situation that sows discord in the DPP and deflects attention from the lack of support for the KMT's candidate.

M said...

Michael - the problems in the DPP are very real. Yang is not simply "regurgitating the KMT line about the DPP." Read what Lee Hsiao-feng had to say about Yang's treatment. Note also what Hsu Tian-cai is saying. Serious questions need to be asked, but you are avoiding them by pinning all the blame on the KMT.

The factionalism in the DPP is a good opportunity for the KMT however. I expect Yang will be very useful in 2012. I also think that Ma will win. The only person who can beat him at the moment is Su Tseng-chang.

Michael Turton said...

(M), I agree with you on 2012.

I know the factions are a problem, I've been watching them since 1991 when i first worked for one of the factional offices in Washington DC. Of course the problems are real. But Yang's current public criticisms of the DPP's policies (they hate China, eight years of no progress, etc) are simply KMT propaganda, and that is what I am referring to, not to his statements about internal DPP issues, or statements of others.

Do you have a link to the Lee Hsiao-feng article?


Michael Turton said...

I read that piece, I now realize. Thanks, though.