Tsai leading in three-way presidential poll

By Yang Chun-hui and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Tue, Jun 25, 2019 - Page 3

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would win in a three-way presidential race against independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) or Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘), who are vying for the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) nomination, a survey released by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed yesterday.

In a race between Tsai, Han and Ko, 36.9 percent of respondents said they would vote for Tsai, while 29.4 percent preferred Han and 27.5 percent chose Ko.

In such scenario, Ko would have an “absolute advantage” with voters under 40, but would be at a disadvantage when it comes to voters aged 55 or older, the survey said.

Han would be more popular among voters aged 45 to 60, and Tsai with those 60 or above, it said.

If the KMT were to nominate Gou, who on Friday resigned as company chairman, Tsai would still win next year’s presidential election with 35.5 percent of votes, compared with 28.1 percent for Ko and 26.1 percent for Gou, the poll showed.

Sixty-seven percent of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters would vote for Tsai, while 54 percent of KMT supporters would vote for Gou, it found.

In addition to having the support of 37 percent of independent voters, Ko would have the support of 32 percent of KMT supporters and 23 percent of DPP supporters, suggesting that if Gou were to represent the KMT, more KMT supporters would vote for Ko, it said.

The foundation also revealed how prospective candidates scored on the “feeling thermometer,” which measures politicians’ popularity.

Ko, Tsai, Gou and Han received average scores of 56.93, 55.16, 49.27 and 43.79 respectively, while former premier William Lai (賴清德), who lost to Tsai in the DPP’s presidential primary, received 58.27.

A score lower than 50 indicates a “cold” public attitude toward the politician, foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) said.

The foundation also surveyed the approval rating of the Tsai administration and found that nearly 48 percent of respondents approved of the way Tsai handles national affairs, while 44 percent disapproved.

The finding shows that Tsai’s approval rating, which had been low for a long time, has turned around, the survey said.

The poll also showed that 52 percent of respondents were satisfied with Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) performance, while 38 percent were dissatisfied.

Meanwhile, Gou is leading the KMT primary with 29 percent support, compared with former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) 26.7 percent, Han’s 26.4 percent, former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei’s (周錫瑋) 2.3 percent and National Taiwan University political science professor Chang Ya-chung’s (張亞中) 0.5 percent, the survey found.

The poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday last week, was commissioned by the foundation and conducted nationwide by Focus Survey Research.

It targeted adults over the age of 20 via landlines, collected 1,092 valid samples and had a margin of error of 2.97 percentage points.