Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Global Views: Ma close over Tsai

A panorama of clouds across the central mountain range before the arrival of typhoon Nanmodol in Taichung yesterday, taken at the Taichung HSR station around 11:00 am (original size). 

Global Views' latest survey on the Ma-Tsai election bout is in, dated Aug 23. In head to head combat, it has Ma 39.6% to 38.1% with 77% of those surveyed responding. 23% are playing coy. However, with PFP Chairman and former KMTer James Soong in the race, Ma beats Tsai 35.1% to 33.9%, essentially the same gap between them. This is a slightly different outcome then several other recent polls where Tsai's support falls more than Ma's when Soong is in play. Tsai crushes Soong head to head.

These numbers are more interesting. The idea that Ma, who was busted downloading government funds into his private accounts but given a get-out-of-jail-free card by the court, has more integrity and is more trustworthy than Tsai strikes me as laughable. Tsai's high marks for crisis management are probably reflective of Ma's low marks for crisis management, and of course Tsai stomps Ma on protecting Taiwan's interests. I'd be curious to know how Tsai's lead in explaining things clearly is helping her at the polls. I wish pollsters did a better job of breaking out the data....
The figures for "Maintain the Status Quo" are intriguing. First, Ma gets high marks in that area, which explains why even though voters don't think he'll work for Taiwan's interests, they continue to vote for him. Yet both Ma and Soong are lifelong unificationist politicians (knowing that, who are the freaks who think Ma and Soong are pro-independence and Tsai pro-unification? Somebody must be having fun with the survey). This widespread and deeply ingrained idea that Ma is a status quo politician is in part a tribute to KMT messaging, but also in part to the confidence that many Taiwanese have that their country cannot be sold out.

I still don't see any reason Ma will lose in 2012. But would be interested to hear some thoughtful comments on the matter.
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Dixteel said...

The race is still very tight IMO. Although past experience has shown that DPP candidates can get a bit more votes than shown in the polls, there is no guarantee if that is the case always.

I think the DPP has laid down a solid foundation though with its 10 years plan etc. What it needs to do now is trying to launch itself higher from that foundation and pull away from Ma. Also, DPP still has the vice president card, but no one seems to have a clue what that card is.

KMT is on the offensive recently, trying to nullify DPP's effort and saturate the media with junks. And I think they will continue to do that. DPP needs to try to break through this type of stuff, and get its messages across to the masses.

John Scott said...

The most obvious sign of sloppy polling and data collection is when several different issues or questions are conflated into a single poll choice.

The most glaring example is the "Safeguards sovereignty and peace across the strait" question.

I'm sure plenty of people who may think of themselves as pro-Taiwan checked "Ma" because they feel the best way to avoid conflict (and economic disruptions) is to allow the KMT to continue its gradual sell-out Taiwan's national sovereignty.

They know the DPP would insist on safeguarding sovereignty, but they aren't sure that is the way to avoid conflct (and thus avoid economic disruptions).

STOP Ma said...

Ma & the KMT have upheld and will continue to uphold the status quo.

This truly is "the Taiwanese Delusion".


Rust said...

This is the number for "support". The Global Views poll also have a "vote outcome" number, which according to DPP spokesman Chen Chi-mai, Tsai wins Ma 5~7%.

This number is however unavailable to the public cause you have to be a "pay member" to be able to access all of the date. They probably have more analysis of the poll too, once again, if you pay.

I personally think Tsai will win the President. Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I do feel that most of the English blogs that I read, including this one, is overly pessimistic. I real concern is whether the DPP can achieve majority status in the Legislature.

Anonymous said...

The DPP or Tsai must ante up, and acknowledge their interests and those of the CCP are diametrically opposed. It doesnt mean the end of the world.

Indeed, emphasis can be given to all the good and co-operation and wishes for peace. Also, how peace and stability would be guaranteed.

But, seriously, running a campaign with "my China policy is a win win situation" or "China must face reality"

Please... Do they really think the population so dim?


Okami said...

Just brainstorming here, but would would those numbers look like if any of the following happened.

1. Large protests where people are shot

2. China's economy implodes

Kind of interested in what would happen in either scenario. Would Taiwanese be as preferential to Ma if China looked like a weak horse.

Anonymous said...

Tsai needs to show that her policies are substantially different from Ma's. Her China policy is basically the same, so unless some of her domestic policies offer some large differences, why would people take a chance on an unknown who doesn't offer anything different? (I haven't finished reading them all so I don't know whether they all differ or not)

Anonymous said...

I would like to know Tsai's 'traffic platform'.

Steve said...

It's still far too early to worry about polls. As long as Tsai and Ma are reasonably close, it's anyone's guess as to who will win. A lot can happen in one month, never mind four.

Anonymous said...

I have been watching Taiwan's elections for a long time and if I were Ma I would be worries. Tsai is too close for comfort. In the normal election pattern, the DPP candidate lingers several points back and seems to always benefit from the late groundswell of undecideds. They almost always end up with a greater percentage of the vote than analysts and polls predict. SOmetimes by a little and sometimes by a lot. I think the Taichung Mayoral election is a good example.

As long as Tsai makes the election about Taiwan and not about China, she can expect to win over a lot of dissatisfied voters.

She also needs to link the KMT to wealthy developers who are getting fat while the rest of the people are struggling to afford the basic costs of living.

Sadly, the DPP has done a piss poor job of choosing a platform over the past few years.