Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Latest TVBS Poll

The latest TVBS poll on the Ma-Tsai race in 2012 is out. Don't be distracted; the legislative election is at least as important; I'm looking forward to the polling on that. Among likely voters, Ma leads 43-42 with 15% undecided. TVBS generally underestimates pan-Green support so it is quite interesting that things are so close.

The chart above shows the breakdown by age group. Among younger voters Tsai has a crushing advantage, but Ma's strength is in the group most like to vote, the 40-60 cohorts. As one observer noted, that is also the last group that grew up during the days when the island's educational system was nothing but pro-China brainwashing. It is also the group most likely to be employed in the strongly pro-KMT bureaucracy and gov't businesses. The young face under- and unemployment, by contrast.

Further down, the chart notes that among self-identified independents Tsai leads Ma 39-33, but it should be noted that the "independents" often contain a disproportion of closeted pan-Green supporters. For those of you who thought Tsai would appeal to women, Ma leads among femmes 45-37, while Tsai wins with men, 48-41. Geographically support is predictable, with Ma crushing in the north and Tsai leading in the south, with the central area up for grabs at 42-41 in favor of Ma. Jason Hu's mayoralty of Taichung has not enthused voters, who are gradually developing a taste for more than endless kowtowing of government to land developers and massive government debt. I suspect that after the way voters were played by KMT propaganda in the mayoral elections after the KMT gangster assassination attempt, there are going to be some votes to balance out "erroneous" votes in favor of the KMT.

"Ethnically" the vote also breaks out predictably. Among self-identified Taiwanese Minnan voters, Tsai rules 46-40, Ma has Taiwanese Hakkas at 50-39, and of course, the "mainlanders" -- whose ethnicity is entirely a construction of KMT propaganda and Taiwanese history -- where he has 71% of the vote. 
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Anonymous said...

I really like your nuanced analysis.

Anonymous said...

Many, many Hakka do not know Tsai Ying-wen is Hakka. That is potentially a big unknown variable that could change things among Hakka in a big way. In fact, it's interesting to note that Tsai Ying-wen, Hsu Hsin Yang, and Su Tsen Chang's wife are all Hakka, which is a stark contrast to the caricature of the DPP as a neo-Minnanazi anti-Hakka party.

Michael Turton said...

Anon, on the hakkas, i think you are right.

Anonymous said...

Chen Shui-bian and Frank Hsieh also made significant inroads with Taiwanese who identify themselves as Hakka.

This is important as the KMT hoped to pit Hakkas and Aborigines against Hoklo speakers as oppressed minorities (just like those poor Waishengren).

Chen brought more Hakka speakers into government and promoted the Hakka language television programming.

Every election cycle continues to see the DPP crack some of these old walls and it may be even more pronounced as the KMT is shifting away from its traditional ethnic and class based voter blocks, in favor of China-centered interest groups. They can't simultaneously play to both crowds.


Okami said...

I wouldn't be too enthused if I were a Tsai fan on those numbers. Ma leads in the most likely to vote ages as generally age is a pretty good indicator with economic status on whether you vote or not. I think Ma needs to pull out his A team if he wants to win this election.

The thing I'm most looking forward to is a 3rd peaceful transition of power if Tsia wins. Though we may still get some mobs and blue trucks with legislators on top ramming barricades for fun.

Women are harsh on other women. I expect Ma's lead to hold with the ladies unless he picks a female VP. I expect his lead to grow if Tsai picks a female VP.

Anonymous said...

If I were Tsai, I'd be worried. By all objective measures (discounting the ideologically opposed), Ma has performed quite poorly and yet the poll numbers are about even, give or take. Tsai should really be 10-20 points ahead at this stage.

Michael Turton said...

I wouldn't be worried. The two party's loyalists vote in blocs, and the swing votes constitute about 10% or so of the vote. If the DPP can mobilize a big turnout she'll come close.

In any case, voters still voting KMT after 50 years of martial law and 20,000+ dead, along with a totally corrupted political economy, can hardly be expected to turn from Ma just because he didn't do so well.... nobody votes KMT because they expect good things of the party.

Anonymous said...

In any case, voters still voting KMT after 50 years of martial law and 20,000+ dead, along with a totally corrupted political economy, can hardly be expected to turn from Ma just because he didn't do so well.... nobody votes KMT because they expect good things of the party.

Martial law ended in the 1980s. The 228 Incident was in the 1940s. Hardly relevant to the modern KMT. There'll be voters in 2012 who weren't even born when martial law was in place, and majority of voters and candidates running were born after 228. Don't you think it's time to let go? If not what's the magic number of years? 100?

I assume you're fine with people not voting DPP for the next few election cycles because of the Chen mess last time. Or is it only the KMT that must continually pay for the sins of the fathers and grandfathers?

Green Man said...

Ma and KMT will win, I regret to say that. But I agree with Anonymous. Tsai should be way ahead at this point, where Ma hasn't yet played his jokers. It's over for us :(