As South Korean President Moon Jae-in enters his fifth year in office, his approval ratings have dropped to a record low of 32 percent. This is the the first time that negative ratings are higher than positive ratings among those in their 40s, the core support group of President Moon. The drop in his approval ratings appears to have been sparked by alleged land speculation by Korea Land and Housing Corporation (LH) employees and controversy surrounding some ruling party lawmakers, who raised the jeonse (long-term rent deposit) for their apartments.
According a survey by Gallup Korea conducted from March 30 to April 1 among 1,000 adults over 18 years old, 32% of voters expressed a positive opinion of President Moon’s performance while 58% had negative ratings. The positive-negative ratios by age group was 25%-52% for ages between 18 and 29 (20s), 36%-57% for those in 30s, 43%-47% for those in 40s, 36%-61% for those in 50s, and 26%-67% for those in 60s. Negative ratings outweighed positive marks among those in 40s, the core support group of President Moon. By political orientation, positive ratings were 27% among moderates, down by 9 percentage points from 36% last week.
As many as 40% of those who were critical of President Moon’s performance cited the government’s real estate policy as a reason for their disapproval, which was up six percentage points from last week. Other reasons included “lacking in addressing economic and public welfare problems” (7%), “lacking in overall areas” (6%), “personnel issues and unfairness” (4%) and “arbitrary, unilateral, biased” (4%).