The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will begin a two-day telephone poll tomorrow to choose the party’s presidential nominee.
According to the design of the poll, each of the party’s three presidential hopefuls — Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) — will be paired against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and respondents will be asked which of the two (Ma or the DPP hopefuls) they would support in the presidential election next year.
According to the rules of the comparative poll, four possible scenarios are expected.
In the first scenario, one of the three candidates would emerge as a clear winner, polling above or equal with Ma’s rating.
In the second scenario, more than one of the three candidates would poll better than Ma, in which case the DPP would choose the candidate with the highest poll result as its presidential nominee.
For example, if the three candidates’ individual poll against Ma showed that Candidate A scored 39 to Ma’s 37, Candidate B scored 38 to Ma’s 35 and Candidate C scored 40 to Ma’s 42, the party’s presidential nominee would be Candidate A, according to the rules of the telephone poll.
Although Candidate C has the highest overall rating, this candidate would be dropped from consideration because he or she failed to top Ma’s rating. In addition, while both Candidate A and Candidate B beat Ma in the poll, Candidate A has the higher rating of the two, so Candidate A would win the DPP primary.
In the third scenario, all three candidates’ approval ratings would rank below Ma’s and the party would choose the person who had the highest rating.
In the fourth scenario, the first three scenarios could not be applied because there would be a ratings tie between two or all of the presidential hopefuls.
In such a scenario, the party would use the gap between the candidates’ ratings and Ma’s, choosing the candidate who either beat Ma by the most or trailed him by the least.
The DPP will randomly select five of the seven institutes in the nation who conduct polls to carry out the telephone survey between 6:30pm and 10pm tomorrow and Tuesday.
The poll would be extended for a day if there aren’t enough valid samples from the first two days of polling.
The winner of the telephone poll is expected to be announced on Wednesday at the earliest.
MEET AND GREET
In related news, at a gathering yesterday with a group of foreign nationals living in Taiwan, Tsai said there are generally a total of 13 million to 13.5 million votes cast nationwide.
While the DPP and the KMT each could probably garner about 6 million votes in the election, Tsai said the remaining 1 million to 1.5 million votes are up for grabs and the DPP is targeting those voters in the hope they will vote in favor of the party.
As long as the DPP remains united, it is possible that the party could win the presidential and the legislative elections next year, she said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LIN SHU-HUI AND RICH CHANG