Thursday, May 19, 2011

Polls: Tsai Down Big =UPDATED= TVBS says neck and neck

The initial rush has now evaporated and Tsai looks like the usual DPP candidate facing the KMT juggernaut. UDN and Apple both came out with polls this week. According to UDN, Ma now leads Tsai 45-27, changed from the 37-36 lead Tsai had less than three weeks ago. According to the Apple Daily, the gap is 53-31. In the latter poll, about 45% are satisfied or very satisfied with Ma, and 33% are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

Last week I blogged on the Taiwan Brain Trust poll and thought that Ma couldn't have taken a giant upward bound in satisfaction in the last three weeks but the Apple Daily poll signals that he might well have.

TVBS Update: On the other hand, a commenter noted that the May 19 TVBS poll has Ma and Tsai at 45-44, respectively. Another commenter reassured that the prediction market at NCCU also has them neck and neck.

UPDATED: Comments say "no way!"

UPDATED II: My friend points out: "What happened was, Ma started campaigning."

Maddog sent useful links on the pan-Blue media, though Apple is not pan-Blue.
May 19, 2011 NOWnews article (title below):
Don't believe this UDN BS: 2012大選選情 媒體民調:馬英九45%、蔡英文27% #TheBoysWhoCriedWolf
Pro-blue surveys get it all wrong:
Flashback to 2006: "[Pro-Chinese KMT] media surveys about Taipei election all wrong"
Another flashback to 2006: "[Pro-Chinese KMT] media surveys about Kaohsiung election all wrong"
Talking Show screenshot:
Flashback to 2009: Pro-Chinese KMT surveys about Yilan election all wrong
Talking Show screenshot:
Another flashback to 2009: Pro-Chinese KMT surveys about Taoyuan election all wrong
TVBS poll vs. 2010 municipal election results (all via Taipei Times):
Nov. 7, 2010 survey by pro-blue TVBS said Chen Chu would get "41%" of the vote Actual tally: 52.8%
Nov. 4, 2010 survey by pro-blue TVBS said Wm. Lai would get "47%" of the vote Actual tally: 60.41%
Nov. 2, 2010 TVBS survey said Su Jia-chyuan would get "43%" of the vote Actual tally: 48.88%
Daily Links:

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Ben Goren said...

Don't believe it. We know UDN polls for what they are and Apple Daily is hardly that much more reliable. These polls smack more of a psyche to deflate Tsai's momentum - remember that the appearance of an unassailable lead is a critical weapon in disheartening DPP and independent support. I'll wait for more polls from different sources much closer to election date. A LOT can happen between now and then.

Anonymous said...

Eh! Not too bad. I think Su Jia-chyuen was down 26% 48% at the start of the Taichung mayoral campaign. The KMT has given the DPP lots of ammo. If the DPP can use it and direct attention toward KMT failings, then things should work out. Furthermore, we still have typhoon season coming. You can bet Ma will be blamed for some calamity or another.

Marc said...

I agree with Ben. These are hardly independent and/or credible media sources.

Jan said...

@ Ben Goren:

How come a few weeks ago the same Apple Daily you call "hardly [..] reliable" published ratings that you and the green crowd celebrated as if they were the actual election outcome of 2012.

The truth is, poll numbers frequently change and are often completely useless altogether: in these final minutes before one enters the voting booth much can happen in the citizen's mind.
Obviously there will always be these 30% who vote blue or green and always have been voting green.

I'd say everything is still pretty open. Tsai however does tremendously suffer from none of her scary late 2009 / early 2010 ECFA predictions materializing.
That really cost her approval among the moderate voters who were concerned by the ECFA but not exactly the average TaiDu-crowd that has issues with any trade / cultural / you name it agreement between Beijing and Taipei. Then on the other hand you have President Ma who seemed "cool" and relaxed throughout all of this. Guess who will get more votes?

PS: @Michael, how exactly is this "Chinese trolling"?

Thomas said...

I too find this very fishy. I am not saying that either UDN or Apple Daily has intentionally manipulated polls, but the scale of this swing seems really bizarre in light of the fact that nothing has really happened in just one week that would make Ma so much more popular or Tsai so much less popular. True, Tsai might have gotten a bump following her selection as the DPP candidate, but she regularly polls near or above Ma in approval ratings.

Thomas said...

After the last comment, I read a piece that quotes DPP polling director Chen Jun Lin as saying: 對於聯合報民調突然顯示,馬英九的支持度大幅領先蔡英文,陳俊麟說,這段時間沒有重大事件發生,蔡英文也沒有犯下重大錯誤,怎麼可能出現這樣情形呢?Exactly the same conclusion. DPP polls show that there have been no significant changes in the approval ratings of either candidate, which I am more inclined to believe at this moment due to the lack of major events in the last week.

Anonymous said...

If it were just UDN polls then I'd be skeptical but Apple don't really toe any political parties line so it may indeed be accurate. They are the closest thing Taiwan has to neutral media.

Anonymous said...

It looks like an attempt to dress up Ma as the favorite to attract the bandwagon supporters. Taiwanese love to support a winner. The hope might be to promote Ma as the "favorite" to garner an early lead and set the election narrative positioning Ma as the favorite.

They did that last time as well to make Ma look overwhelmingly popular, even going as far as calling him the "popular president Ma Ying-jiu."

Anonymous said...

The futures markets don't believe it either. Tsai still has a small lead, and the trading volume of late is not insignificant:

Hans said...

I don't believe it. It just doesn't make much sense for the people's opinion to jump and change within 3 weeks of time, unless something dramatic happens. What could be the recent drama? Oh the WHO farce, and Ma's poll has raised since then? It just doesn't make sense.

It doesn't make sense the same way as Ma claimed that more than 90% of his manifesto have come to realized.

Carlos said...

I believe you guys that it's BS, but the feeling of inevitability comes naturally to me... those nasty numbers are honestly what I'd expect.

Whenever the DPP points at stuff like the WHO fiasco, I don't think they help their popularity. Everyone knows that even a government that tried its best to establish Taiwan on the international scene would face those same problems, and that even observership will probably require very ugly compromises. I dunno. I'm usually in that disheartened state Ben mentioned in his comment.

Anonymous said...

After Su clobbered Tsai in front of the media it seems the writing is in the wall.

Okami said...

Is there a breakdown of age and party loyalty that has some relation to the voters of presidential elections. I've learned from US polls that pollsters cheat by having a bigger percentage of people from one loyalty, mix up terms like adults vs likely voters, and rarely will manipulate age groups if possible.

The election's a long way away. Best to have a breather and see what else comes up and most importantly where the betting is. You start seeing Tsai hit up the big temples with fat red envelopes to change the betting expect a green president. I wouldn't put it past Apple to do a quid pro quo with the KMT to get something it wants. We all know how accurate Apple is with their reporting. ;-)

Dixteel said...

Although I don't believe the poll number to be accurate, I won't be surprised if the support for Tsai cool off a bit. KMT's hold of Taiwan is still strong. It is difficult for us to comprehend, but I believe even if Ma and his team performed very poorly, there will still be large number of people that will continue to support KMT.

I am not sure if I am correct, but from what I can see, those who support KMT usually see the tree, but not the forest. For example: they usually only see their own personal gain and not how much it cost to provide that gain. They usually only see China, but not the rest of the world and how China interact with Taiwan and others. They usually only see the faults of individual politicians, but not the large trend of policy and the indications that KMT is selling Taiwan out.

Because of this blind spot, they usually miss the point of important macro events that can impact the whole Taiwan such as the deception of WHO. However, small things (even if false), such as if a celebrity shows her support for Ma, or if their income increases by 0.03% because of Ma government's policy, or if Ma promise 833 this time etc, these people might take note.

I might be completely wrong, but just some observations. This does not mean Tsai has no chance, but against the combined force of KMT and CCP, nothing will be easy or certain.

Anonymous said...

A new poll on May 19 from TVBS, a pro-blue media, showed Ma vs Tsai 45% to 44%.

Anonymous said...

@Dixteel"They usually only see China, but not the rest of the world and how China interact with Taiwan and others."

Maybe , just maybe they also see how USA is embracing PRC much more tighter than how Arnold hugged Maria Owings Shriver ever.

Maybe they not only see the forest but what Tarzan Sam is doin to Shang Hai Jane just across the Straits.

Hey! Maybe the KMT is just followin what Washington is doin!


Anonymous said...

Because 520 is coming? The third anniversary of Mah 19's big big day?

He needs the perception that he is doing well. And like what Hitler could do, he can do it too ;)

Anonymous said...

It is difficult for us to comprehend, but I believe even if Ma and his team performed very poorly, there will still be large number of people that will continue to support KMT.

Disregarding the 20% or so of diehards (on each side so they more or less cancel each other out numbers-wise), others vote KMT because the vast majority of every day policies are almost the same for both parties. It's not hard to understand at all - the KMT is the devil they know and memories of Chen's DPP administration still run strongly. Unless Tsai can offer some markedly different policies 0 and in general she hasn't in most areas - people will continue to vote KMT. Why go through all the process of change when the end result will be much the same?

A lot of people are disappointed that Taiwan is drifting closer to China, but on the other hand they recognize the need for close relations and Taiwan's involvement in international affairs. They know that these are potentially at risk under the DPP so despite misgivings will likely vote the same way because the pros outweigh the cons.

Michael, answering questions of bias with Tim Maddog's figures is about as useful as answering it with Fox news. Maddog picks and chooses, ignores and invents just the same as most media here.