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Ex-Mayor Dominates Presidential Poll

Posted February. 01, 2007 06:58,   


Former Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak is enjoying a commanding lead for the presidency in opinion polls.

According to a telephone poll conducted by the Korea Research Center commissioned by this newspaper on 2,000 people aged 19 and older across the country on January 30, 46.4 percent chose Lee as their favorite candidate. Lee’s approval rating is more than twice former GNP leader Park Geun-hye’s 20.0 percent, followed by Sohn Hak-kyu, former governor of Gyeonggi Province with 5.8 percent, former ruling Uri Party chairman Chung Dong-young with 3.3 percent, former Justice Minister Kang Kum-sil with 2.2 percent, Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook with 1.7 percent, Rep. Kwon Young-ghil of the Democratic Labor Party with 1.7 percent, and Uri Party chairman Kim Geun-tae with 1.2 percent.

The total ratings of the three most favored presidential hopefuls of GNP stood at 72.2 percent, whereas those of the total presidential hopefuls of the ruling Uri Party stood at a mere 8.4 percent.

Compared to a previous poll conducted by this newspaper between December 27 and 28 in 2006 before former Prime Minister Goh Kun dropped out of the race on January 16, approval ratings for the four presidential hopefuls rose: 1.5 percentage points for Lee, 2.7 for Park, 2.5 for Sohn and 1.8 for Chung. It seems that the four evenly shared the votes of Goh supporters.

In regard to the popularity of candidates from the ruling party, Chung ranked first with 14.1 percent, followed by Kang with 11.8 percent, Han with 9.6 percent, and Kim with 6.0 percent. The previous poll showed Goh ranking first with 32.7 percent, followed by Kang with 11.3 percent, and Chung with 6.3 percent. But Chung took the lead after Goh withdrew from the race.

The poll showed 48.3 percent of voters support the GNP, whereas just 12.3 percent favor the Uri Party. Sweeping number of voters (70.3 percent) answered President Roh’s job performance was poor, and only 22.7 percent of them said he is doing well.

The result also suggested 64.8 percent of voters believe the move to create a new party led by Uri Party members with Democratic Party members is undesirable, and even among Uri supporters, more than a majority (56.8 percent) said the move is not desirable.

About 61.6 percent of voters supported the idea of a new cabinet recently proposed by the GNP, whereas 30.9 percent of voters didn’t support the idea.

In the previous poll, 41.8 percent thought housing prices would rise and 16.7 percent thought they would not. This time, the results were evenly divided with 28.4 percent expecting they would and 29.6 percent expecting they would not.