Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Polls out this week making the news. First, Ma's approval rating remains in the dumps (Taipei Times, KMT):
The poll, conducted by the Global Views Survey Research Center, put Ma’s popularity at 30.1 percent, down 0.9 percentage points from last month. His disapproval rating also dropped 1.4 percent to stand at 55.6 percent.
Ma's support rating has basically been orbiting 30%. It troughed back in March after the fracas over beef with the US at 23%. The elections in November have been the major media focus domestically, meaning that Ma is no longer making the news as much as he did before, especially now that ECFA is both passed and routinized.

Note that the approval rating for the legislators is just 19%. This won't stop the public from voting them back in en masse. After all, my legislator sent a bottle of wine and some flowers to my cousin A-Chen's wedding! And that's what's really important.

The interesting news is from Taichung. First, the miraculous thing is that the Taipei media has actually noticed Taichung for something other than a gangland execution. We are grateful for the attention. Second, it looks like incumbent Mayor Jason Hu is in a dogfight, at least according to a recent China Times poll, dated the 20th. Among likely voters in the November election for the mayor's post in the new Taichung Municipality, Hu is up just 40-34 over the DPP's Su, with 28% undecided. I've heard that KMT internal polls have the race even closer. However, 50% of respondents say they expect Hu to win, versus just 18% for Su.

Su has a couple of advantages over Hu. Incumbency actually means that Hu has a full-time job, meaning that he can't campaign during the day -- he has to work. According to a Liberty Times article the other day, Hu is in trouble with some of the local factions out in what is now Taichung county (which will become one with Taichung city to form the monstrous hybrid Taichung Municipality), who grumble that he hasn't given them enough attention, so they won't deliver him the votes they command. The article claims that Hu has done no campaigning out in the county yet. He is, however, omnipresent on local election signage out in the county. There is also the class issue between Hu and Su -- Su is a lot more sympatico with the county than Hu is. This may not necessarily hurt Hu as much as you might think, since many locals will see Hu as someone who is fit to be their leader by virtue of being a high-class gentleman.

At this point (disclaimer: two months to go!) the DPP looks like a lock in Kaohsiung, where even if somehow the KMT candidate and DPP turncoat Yang pool their support, incumbent DPP mayor Chen Chu will still win decisively. Tainan is similarly a foregone conclusion for the DPP. In Taipei the DPP's Su Tseng-cheng is mounting a strong campaign against unappealing KMT mayor, and looks like a winner. In Taichung Hu is still strong but the trend is against the KMT. Only in Taipei County does it look like the DPP is fighting an uphill battle. Good showing, guys.
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Islander said...

It seems in the US, we have special interest groups that candidates have to appeal to. In Taiwan, they have local factions or clans the candidates have to please. Interesting how it's never as simple as one man one vote.

mike said...


Well my sense of humor may be "rich", but you're scraping the bottom of the barrel there surely... pun-ishing stuff, Turton.