President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his administration received another dismal report card on his performance as head of state this year, earning 44.3 points out of a possible 100 in a Taiwan Indicator Survey Research (TISR) poll that was released yesterday.
The results marked the second public opinion poll in two weeks in which the president has failed to come close to making the passing grade of 60, having been awarded just 39.2 points in a survey conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party and released on Dec. 18.
Ma’s average score among those who identified themselves as belonging to the pan-green camp was 34.2 points, while unaligned voters gave him a failing mark of 44 and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) supporters handed the president a passing grade of 60.1 points, according to the public opinion survey carried out by TISR.
The results also showed that Ma remains widely unpopular, with the Taiwanese leader’s credibility rating at 18.3 percent and his approval rating near rock-bottom at just 14 percent.
Asked to identify in which areas the Ma administration needs to improve the most, 90.2 percent of respondents in the TISR questionnaire selected stimulating the economy.
A further 84.6 percent of those polled also named crisis management, with 84.5 percent picking controlling commodity prices, 83.7 percent identifying fighting corruption and 79.9 percent saying that the administration needs to work on how it explains its policies to the public, the data showed.
More than half, or 58.6 percent, of those questioned by the researcher said they were pessimistic about the nation’s economic prospects next year, TISR general manager Tai Li-an (戴立安) said in a press release.
The poll also found that fewer respondents view themselves as middle class this year than in 2008, when similar gauge of public opinion was carried out in December.
According to this year’s survey, the number of respondents who identified themselves as middle class in terms of household income has gone down almost 5 percent to 36.1 percent from the 41 percent recorded in 2008.
Meanwhile, the percentage of those surveyed who said they were “medium to lower class” rose from 25.7 percent in 2008, to 37.1 percent this year, according to TISR.
The poll was conducted between Monday and Wednesday, collected 1,003 valid samples and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.