President Ma slips again in public opinion polls
By Mo Yan-chih
Saturday, Mar 20, 2010, Page 1
President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) approval rating and confidence index slipped further this month, a poll released by the Chinese-language Global Views magazine yesterday showed.
The poll, conducted by Global Views Survey Research Center between Monday and Wednesday, showed Ma’s approval rating dropping 0.9 points from last month to 23.8 percent, while his disapproval rating increased from 62.7 percent to 66 percent this month.
Ma’s approval rating this month was the second lowest since he assumed the presidency. It hit its lowest level — 22.9 percent — in the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot, when slow government response to the disaster sparked public anger.
Ma also suffered from a lower trust index, the latest poll showed, with his trust index dropping 2.5 points to 38.8 percent this month.
In a separate poll conducted by the Chinese-language United Daily News on Thursday and released yesterday, Ma’s approval rating fell to a new low of 27 percent, compared with about 30 percent after Morokot, while 53 percent of respondents were not satisfied with his performance as president.
The poll also suggested that if the presidential election were held now, Ma would lose to former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), with Ma receiving only 29 percent support rate versus Su’s 38 percent.
The contest would be a tie if Ma ran against DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), with both receiving 33 percent support rate, the poll showed.
Among respondents who said they had voted for Ma two years ago, about 50 percent said they would support Ma in the 2012 presidential election, while about 20 percent said they would vote for the DPP instead.
Asked about Ma’s low approval rating, Presidential Office Spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) yesterday said Ma would take the results of the poll as a warning and reflect on his performance.
“What we should do now is keep up the hard work and win more support by improving our performance and communicating with the public,” he said.
Lo cited the government’s continuous efforts to improve the economy, and said Ma believed it would draw more public support as the economy gets better.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said yesterday that Ma’s flagging approval ratings only reflected the current political atmosphere, but added that the party would not take them lightly.
The ratings would rise when the Ma administration’s policies begin to yield more results, he said.
Su also cited recent positive developments, including unemployment declining in the past five consecutive months and the economy growing 9.22 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
He said the KMT administration would continue to strive to improve cross-strait relations, raise domestic consumption and boost tourism.