Friday, December 08, 2006

ESWN on Local Media Polls

ESWN discusses the polls:
Here are the numbers for the Kaohsiung mayoral election:

Liberty Times (12/5): Huang Jun-yin (34.38%) versus Chen Chu (34.09%)
China Times (12/4): Huang Jun-yin (43%) versus Chen Chu (29%)
TVBS (12/3-12/4): Huang Jun-yin (51%) versus Chen Chu (31%)
United Daily News (12/2): Huang Jun-yin (39%) versus Chen Chu (27%)
Era TV (11/26-11/27): Huang Jun-yin (41%) versus Chen Chu (26%)
ETTV (11/24): Huang Jun-yin (41%) versus Chen Chu (29%)

According to Liberty Times, KMT candidate Huang Jun-yin has taken an ad out to question why the Liberty Times figures are different from the others. The South Society responded that the reason was obvious: the "Chinese media" are biased and therefore things happen in their public opinion polls. As examples, the South Society said Chen Shui-bian was not picked by the "Chinese media" in the last two presidential elections, but he won both times; four years ago in the Taipei mayoral election, DPP candidate Lee Ying-yuan polled below 20% but he ended up with 36% of the votes. This proves that the polls by the "Chinese media" are way off and untrue.

Does that contradict what I wrote in the beginning? Not at all, because there have been many elections as well as many public opinion polls. The ones cited by South Society favor their case. They do not tell you about examples that contradict their case.

(BCS via Yahoo! News) In the Taipei county election last year, the polls from all except one media outlet favored KMT candidate Chou Hsi-Wei over DPP candidate Lo Wen-chia by at least 10 percentage points. That exception showed the two candidates in a dead heat. In the end, Chou won by 190,000 votes (=10.5%). Yes, it was Liberty Times which was the exception.

What is happening this time? Nobody knows until afterwards. But previous performances are not a good predictor -- if you are willing to consider the totality of the evidence instead of a selective slice.
I totally agree. I can't believe the pro-Green Liberty Times has Chen Chu neck-n-neck with Huang, when every other poll has a sizable advantage to the KMT. It makes no sense -- the pro-Blue papers are strongly biased, but with the exception of TVBS, they are not clinically insane. Will Chen Chu close this gap? You bet. But she isn't going to make up 10 points on Huang. I think he'll win comfortably by 5 points.

Consider: Su did a great job in Taipei County and lost. Hsieh cleaned up Kaohsiung but the DPP is going to lose it. Whatever you may say about the Presidency, Chen was a strong mayor of Taipei -- and lost. Yi-lan was ably run by two excellent DPP administrations -- and lost. See a pattern here?

Unless I see an amazingly well constructed DPP internal poll that says different, tomorrow the DPP will lose both cities. Hau by 10 in Taipei, Huang by 5 in Kaohsiung. I can't wait to read the nonsense in the foreign media over the next few weeks. *sigh*

1 comment:

Eli said...

If Hsieh comes within 10 points, or even loses by 10 points, doesn't that bode well for him in 2008. The way I see it, unless he loses in a catastrophic way, it is a win-win situation for him. If by some twist of fate he wins, then well, he wins. If he loses by 5-10 points, then he has resuscitated his image, and shown that a significant portion of Taipei's population believes his competence as Kaohsiung mayor overrides any corruption charges, which were never proven. So, if he comes within 10 points or even wins, then it would also do much to dispel the myth that Taipei is an "essentially" blue place. If Hsieh does do well, it would probably also be a boost for James Soong, since it would mean that he won enough of the vote to split the blue camp, though I suppose there would also be a lot of people angry at him. But it would also mean that his base of support is still strong. I know a lot of this is speculation, but really, that's all we have at this point--hypotheticals--and an imperfect media.

Lastly, I don't really think Hsieh has run a bad campaign. To say that Hau Lung-bin has run a good one--as some have argued--is to miss the point that it was always his to lose in the first place. Hsieh was recruited because nobody else wanted to run for the DPP.

Sorry, one more point: I know a lot of people are attacking Hsieh because he is promising the Olympics. It is always good to give people a dream to reach for. Indeed, that is what China did all the way back to the early nineties. At the time, it wasn't at all obvious that they would win the bid, and they didn't in 2000, but when they lost in 2000, they kept trying, and when they won the 2008 bid, people celebrated all over the country. I was on the top of Wudang Mountain at the time.

The way I read Hsieh's Olympics ad, he is saying that if Taipei has any possibility of hosting the Olympics, it will be necessary to completely revamp the city--to create, in effect, a dream city, which is the real goal. Often with such teleological campaigns, the goal, in the end, isn't the most important part; it is the goal that motivates people to think big and creatively. I think this is better than all of the campaigns that are really saying nothing.

By the way, I will be at Hsieh's headquarters later today.