A month later, the most recent polls — including those of the KMT-favoring China Times and TVBS — have shown a tie between Ma and Tsai. Other polls released by the Future Exchange Institution and the American Institute in Taiwan showed Tsai is leading Ma by 2 percent to 3 percent. Tsai and her DPP also garnered more support in areas traditionally considered KMT strongholds, such as central Taiwan and Hakka constituencies. Underground gambling circles have also cut their bets for Ma’s lead over Tsai from 600,000 votes to 200,000 votes.The article Liu references in The Journalist on AIT presidential election polls is here. It seems odd that the US representative office commissioned its own polls on the election outcome, but no doubt they are as depressed as I am looking at the weird poll data that sprawls across the media like a deep-sea monster suddenly flung onto the deck of a fishing boat. If anyone out there at AIT could contact me to explain why they have their own polls, I'd be grateful.
Not only does The Journalist observe in the AIT poll Tsai is up 2-3 points over Ma, but also that AIT polls correctly predicted the outcomes in '00, 04, and 08. Tsai's upward trend has also caught the attention of the international media, with Paul Mozur scribing in WSJ:
Mr. Ma also is seen as making missteps on the issue of China, especially last month, when he proposed talks over a peace pact with Beijing within the decade that would go beyond the current economic rapprochement. Last week at a Foreign Correspondent's Club news conference, Mr. Ma's chief campaign strategist, King Pu-tsung admitted the campaign had failed to anticipate how sensitive the pact would be.Also kudos to Mozur for correctly labeling China as the source of tension and for pointing out that Tsai wants better relations with Beijing, thus avoiding regurgitating the pro-Beijing frames that so often dominate media discourse on Taiwan:
Meanwhile, Ms. Tsai seems to be increasingly gaining the support of independent voters with a campaign focused on social issues and growing Taiwan's domestic economy with policy points such as reducing restrictions against foreign professionals, growing the social safety net, and subsidies for farmers. Ms. Tsai also has made some inroads with the business community, traditionally a Kuomintang stronghold, with comments about China seen as more moderate than the platform of her pro-independence party.
Ms. Tsai has said she supports improved relations with China, but her party backs independence from Beijing and China has historically responded negatively to DPP rule of Taiwan.For an example of how not to do it, see the BBC piece I discuss here.
[Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.