Moon's Approval Rating Keeps Plummeting

  • By Hong Young-lim

    April 19, 2021 13:35

    President Moon Jae-in's approval rating has plunged to yet another record low in a Gallup Korea poll, suggesting he has well and truly entered the lame-duck phase of his single-term presidency and will be unable to get much done for its last year.

    A Gallup Korea poll of 1,000 people last week shows Moon's approval rating at a dismal 30 percent, while 62 percent disapprove of him.

    He was particularly unpopular among younger voters and the elderly. Among people in their 20s, Moon's approval rating stood at only 27 percent and among the over-60s at 23 percent.

    Moon Jae-in /Yonhap

    Even in the ruling party's traditional strongholds of Gwangju and surrounding South Jeolla Province his approval rating fell below 50 percent to 49 percent.

    But it plunged to 30 percent in Seoul, Daejeon and Chungcheong provinces, 29 percent in Busan and South Gyeongsang Province, 28 percent in Incheon and Gyeonggi Province and a miserable 19 percent in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province.

    Compared to the first week of April, just before the mayoral by-elections in Seoul and Busan on April 7, disapproval increased four percentage points from 58 percent, with centrist turning their back more than any other groups. The government's real estate policies were the biggest reason with 31 percent.

    The approval rating for the main opposition People Power Party stood at 30 percent, the ultra-progressive Justice Party's at five percent and center-right People Party's also at five percent. The PPP's approval rating was the highest since President Park Geun-hye's impeachment, and the gap with the Minjoo Party, whose approval rating was 31 percent, is now the narrowest it has been since then.

    The proportion of people who have a positive opinion of the PPP jumped from 25 to 34 percent compared to the same survey conducted in September of last year, while the Minjoo Party's fell from 40 to 30 percent over the same period.

    When asked about their hopes for next year's presidential election, 55 percent said they would prefer an opposition candidate while only 34 percent favored a ruling-party candidate.

    Former Prosecutor-General Yoon Suk-yeol was the most popular fantasy candidate with 25 percent support, followed by Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung (24 percent), former MP leader Lee Nak-yon (five percent), People Party chief Ahn Cheol-soo (four percent), Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon (two percent) and lawmaker Hong Joon-pyo (two percent).

    Yoon's support rose two percentage points since early April while the Gyeonggi governor's support rate remained flat.

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