With the Nov. 27 special municipality elections fast approaching, the latest poll results released by local media suggested yesterday that the mayoral candidates from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) remain strong in places where they are favored, despite efforts by their opponents to reverse their momentum.
A survey conducted by the -Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that if voters were to go to the polls tomorrow, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) of the DPP would get 43.27 percent support, compared with 18.52 percent for Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興), who is running as an independent after withdrawing from the DPP in August, and 7.8 percent for the KMT’s mayoral candidate, Huang Chao-hsun (黃昭順).
However, 30.41 percent did not express their opinion.
In view of the past two Kaohsiung mayoral and county commissioner elections in which pro-KMT pan-blue candidates received more than 40 percent of the vote, the Liberty Times poll presumed that undecided voters would favor the KMT, meaning the support rate for the candidates trailing in the poll should be higher than the figures show.
Commenting on the poll, Chen’s campaign spokesperson, Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟), said that although the mayor leads her rivals by big margins, she would not let down her guard.
Huang’s campaign spokesman, Tu Chien-heng (杜建衡), said Huang truly wants to serve the people, a point that he said the voters would recognize on election day.
Yang’s camp said it believed the Kaohsiung election would end up as a two-horse race between Chen and its candidate, adding that with up to 30 percent of voters undecided, more than half of the electorate could oppose Chen.
Despite the KMT repeatedly denying it would resort to the “dump-save” effect (棄保效應), diverting its supporters from Huang to vote for Yang, some observers have suggested the party was considering just such a strategy as election day rolls closer.
Meanwhile, the Chinese--language United Daily News’ (UDN) latest poll results yesterday showed little change in the Greater Taichung special municipality, which will merge Taichung City and Taichung County, from a similar poll conducted two months ago.
Some 52 percent of respondents still expected Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) of the KMT to win the election compared with 13 percent who said Hu’s DPP rival, Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), would win. The remaining 35 percent said they could not predict the outcome.
The UDN poll suggested that if the election were held tomorrow, Hu would get 49 percent of the vote, compared with 31 percent for Su, with 20 percent still undecided. The UDN survey also showed that support for both had risen, with the ratio of undecided voters falling to 20 percent from 32 percent in the previous survey.
Further analysis showed that in Taichung City, respondents backed Hu over Su by a 55 percent to 29 percent margin, while in Taichung County, Hu had a 45 percent to 32 percent edge.
In terms of age, Su’s popularity among voters over 60 years old was on par with Hu’s, but in all other age groups, Su lagged behind Hu by at least 14 percentage points, the UDN poll showed.