March 28, 2013 12:29
President Park Geun-hye's approval rating has slumped further to a lukewarm 44 percent after her first month in office, putting her way behind her predecessors, a Gallup Korea poll shows.
Presidents Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung both enjoyed 71 percent around this time in their tenure, Roh Moo-hyun 60 percent and Lee Myung-bak 52 percent.
Pollsters say past presidents enjoyed high approval ratings early in their tenure because even voters who had not supported them had high expectations at the start of a new government, but now it seems few left-leaning voters could be persuaded to cheer Park on.
In another poll in late January, Park had a 55 percent approval rating, also a historic low for a newly elected president.
In the latest poll, Park's approval rating dropped across all age groups with the rating among people in their 20s falling from 47 to 40 percent, among those in their 30s from 39 to 29 percent, and 40-somethings from 52 to 34 percent.
Even among people over 50, her core constituency, the rating dropped from 69 to 57 percent. Supporters of the ruling Saenuri Party also turned away, with the figure falling from 79 to 65 percent.
By region, Park's approval rating in the Seoul metropolitan region fell from 53 to 42 percent, in the Chungcheong provinces from 58 to 42 percent, in the Jeolla region from 38 percent to 25 percent and in the Gyeongsang provinces from 62 to 52 percent.
In her stronghold of Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, support also slid from 68 to 59 percent and in Gangwon Province it dropped from 64 to 53 percent.
Former president Lee enjoyed nearly 50-percent approval ratings among all age groups in the first month of his tenure back in 2008.
"Park has no strong support among voters in their 20s to 40s and people from the Jeolla provinces," said Huh Jin-jae at Gallup Korea. "And some conservative voters are also waiting to see how she will perform."
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