President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approval rating dropped from 33.3 percent last month to 31.2 percent this month, her second-lowest score since taking office in May 2016, a Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation poll showed yesterday.
Tsai’s visit to flood victims in Chiayi last month — during which she stood in an armored vehicle, smiled and waved before she was asked to step out of the vehicle — and Taiwan’s severance of diplomatic ties with El Salvador affected her approval rating, the foundation said.
Fifty-five percent of respondents said they disapproved of Tsai’s performance, while 31.2 percent approved — the largest discrepancy in the past two years, the poll showed.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The poll results show that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration is facing a worsening predicament, foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) said.
To analyze the change in Tsai’s approval rating, the foundation selected 10 of 13 questions that Gallup asked to evaluate US President Donald Trump’s character in June, You said.
Of the respondents, 56.4 percent said that Tsai is an intelligent leader, while 39.6 percent disagreed, he said, adding that it was Tsai’s only positive quality that voters see in her.
When asked whether Tsai is honest and trustworthy, 47.5 percent said no, while 46.4 percent said yes, the poll showed.
Asked whether Tsai put the nation’s interests ahead of her own political interests, 46.2 percent said she did not, while 46 percent said she did, it found.
About 54 percent of respondents said Tsai could not effect the changes the nation needs, while 43 percent said she could.
Tsai fared poorly in questions that gauged her leadership qualities, the survey found.
Nearly 52 percent of respondents said they disagreed with the statement that Tsai cares about the needs of ordinary people, while about 43 percent agreed.
Asked whether Tsai is a strong and decisive leader, 56.5 percent said she is not, while 38.1 percent said she is.
The poll found that 56.2 percent of respondents said Tsai has not kept her campaign promises, while 38 percent said she has.
According to the poll, 57.5 percent of respondents said she does not lead the government effectively, while 36.9 percent said she does.
As for the appointment of Cabinet members, 56.8 percent said Tsai did not pick good officials, while 36.5 percent said that she did.
Respondents gave Tsai the worst grade when asked whether she has worked well with the two other major political parties to get things done, with 61.7 percent saying she has not.
By contrast, the approval rating of Premier William Lai (賴清德) rose from 41.7 percent last month to 44.7 percent this month, You said, adding that Lai’s approval rating has remained steady from January through this month.
The poll also gauged people’s stance on cross-strait issues.
While 36.2 percent of respondents said they supported independence, 26.1 percent said that they supported unification with China and 23.2 percent said that they favored “maintaining the ‘status quo.’”
It was the first time that more respondents supported “unification with China” than “maintaining the ‘status quo.’”
The number of respondents favoring unification have risen from about 15 percent in May 2016 to 26.1 percent now, representing a great advance for unification supporters, You said, citing past surveys.
The poll found that 34.5 percent of respondents did not lean toward any political party, while 24.7 percent supported the DPP, 23.1 percent supported the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), 8 percent backed the New Power Party and 3.9 percent said they would vote for minor political parties.
The poll collected 1,075 valid samples and has a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which
STRATEGIC MISTAKE: Beijing’s deployment of aircraft near Taiwan proves the ‘China threat theory’ that sees it attempting to destabilize the region, an analyst said China on Saturday and yesterday sent a record number of military aircraft into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in what analysts said was an attempt to flex its military might for US President Joe Biden. Thirteen Chinese warplanes flew into Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ on Saturday and 15 entered yesterday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. On Saturday, eight Xian H-6K bombers, four Shenyang J-16 fighters and a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, entered the ADIZ, while yesterday there were two Y-8s, two Su-30s, four J-16s, six J-10 fighters and a Y-8 reconnaissance
DISPOSING MYTHS: A new constitution would better reflect reality, as the current one was drafted ‘in and for China,’ without the consent of Taiwanese, advocates said Independence advocates yesterday launched the Taiwan New Constitution Alliance to promote drafting a new, localized constitution. “This is a historic moment for Taiwan. Drafting a new constitution is the most important task Taiwanese face,” veteran independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) said at the inaugural event in Taipei. “Although the Democratic Progressive Party is in power, its authority is based on the Republic of China [ROC] Constitution, which has no connection to Taiwan,” said the 95-year-old Koo, a former presidential adviser. “The historic task of drafting a new constitution depends on efforts by all Taiwanese,” Koo said. “A constitution for a sovereign, independent Taiwan