Thu, Feb 15, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Tsai’s approval rebounds

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) satisfaction and approval ratings have rallied to more than 50 percent following last week’s earthquake in Hualien, the results of a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) opinion poll released yesterday showed.

Tsai’s approval rating reached 50.6 percent, while those not supporting her was down to 41.1 percent, the poll found.

Her satisfaction rating rose to 50.4 percent, with a 42.9 percent disapproval rating, it showed.

A total of 76.5 percent of respondents said the government’s emergency response following the earthquake was satisfactory, while 12.5 percent were unsatisfied.

The poll’s results conformed with a rise in public unity following the earthquake, DPP spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said.

The survey showed almost no difference between the president’s satisfaction rating and approval rating, a unique phenomenon compared with other surveys’ results, as polls in past months invariably showed that the president’s approval rating was higher than her satisfaction ratings by a large margin, she said.

Less than 8.3 percent of respondents declined to express an opinion about the president, suggesting a high level of public engagement in public affairs, which was rarely observed in past opinion polls, Kolas said.

Tsai’s approval rating has remained at more than 50 percent over the past few months in DPP surveys, but her satisfaction rating has stayed at less than 40 percent for months and once dipped to less than 30 percent in polls conducted by think tanks affiliated with the DPP.

The earthquake galvanized the public to help disaster victims, and the government’s swift response won bipartisan approval, including an 85.9 percent satisfaction rating among pan-green respondents, 71.7 percent satisfaction among pan-blue respondents and 73.8 percent approval among politically neutral respondents, Kolas said.

Kaohsiung and Pingtung County registered the highest approval rating of government disaster relief efforts with 84.1 percent, followed by the 80.6 percent of Keelung and Hualien, Taitung and Yilan counties, as well as Penghu.

Respondents aged 20 to 29 were most satisfied with the government’s action, with an 86.2 percent approval rating, which was likely due to their frequent exposure to the Internet and social media, Kolas said.

They were followed by people older than 70, with a 78.8 percent approval rating, and people aged between 30 and 39 at 76.6 percent.

The DPP poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, collected 811 valid samples and has a confidence level of 95 percent, with a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

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