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Pres. Moon’s disapproval rating hits record high

Posted December. 22, 2018 07:39,   

Updated December. 22, 2018 07:39


According to a Gallup Korea poll released on Friday, 46 percent of the respondents were not in favor of President Moon Jae-in, exceeding President Moon’s approval rating of 45 percent. The poll was conducted of 1,002 male and female adults across the nation on Dec. 18-20 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a 95-percent confidence interval. This is the first time we’re seeing this reversal called, “death cross,” where disapproval exceeds approval rating, since President Moon took office in May last year.

The biggest reason behind the sudden fall of President Moon’s approval rating, which soared to 83 percent in May, is deteriorating livelihood of people. According to Gallup Korea, the respondents who gave negative eval‎uation of the president’s performance cited reasons such as dissatisfaction with the economic situation (47 percent) and relations with North Korea and President Moon’s pro-North Korea activities (17 percent). The aggravating economic conditions, such as employment rat, led to a drop in the presidential approval rating.

To make matters worse, a controversy surrounding the special inspection bureau under the presidential office and allegations against the presidential office raised by Kim Tae-woo, a former investigator of the special inspection bureau, has taken a toll on Moon. The president’s recent moves to improve the economy, such as slowing down the pace of minimum wage hikes, are failing to get a positive response from the public because of the “Kim Tae-woo list” scandal.

It is quite noticeable that those in their 50s and older living in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province were discontent with President Moon’s performance. Disapproval rating was the highest among the self-employed (57 percent) when the figure only stood at 33 percent a year ago. A sharp increase in minimum wage was the reason behind their turnabout. Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province had the highest disapproval rating (58 percent) followed by Busan, Ulsan, and South Gyeongsang Province (48 percent), and Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province (47 percent).

Cheong Wa Dae has not made any official announcement on the drop in presidential approval rating but they are taking it seriously. “The approval rating was falling in our independent survey as well,” a Cheong Wa Dae official said. "We’re trying our best to turn around the economy.”

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com