Main opposition People’s Power Party candidate Yoon Seok-youl is running ahead of ruling Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung beyond the margin of error in the ongoing presidential race, a survey showed Friday.
Lee posted an approval rating of 34 percent, down 2 percentage points from the previous week, according to the result released Friday from the survey (conducted on Tuesday to Thursday) on four leading candidates in the race by Gallup Korea. Yoon saw his approval rating hit 41 percent, up 4 percentage points from the week earlier. They were trailed by the People’s Party candidate Ahn Chul-soo who recorded an approval rating of 11 percent and Justice Party standard bearer Shim Sang-jung who posted 4 percent.
The gap in approval ratings between Yoon and Lee amounted to 7 percentage points (95 percent confidence rate with an margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points). It is the first time in six weeks that the gap between two frontrunners has gone beyond the error of margin. In the first week of January, Lee (36 percent) was running ahead of Yoon (26 percent) beyond the error of margin, as the latter was entangled in internal feud at the time.
By age bracket, people in their 40s showed an approval rating in the range of 50 percent for Lee, and those in their 60s and older showed an approval rating in the same range for Yoon. Voters aged between 18 and 29 displayed an approval rating of 20 percent for Lee and 32 percent for Yoon, while those in their 30s showed similar approval ratings of 32 and 33, respectively, for the two candidates. By region, Lee earned an approval rating of 31 percent, while Yoon enjoyed a rating of 44 percent in Seoul, which is considered the most contentious region in presidential elections.
As for approval ratings of the two parties, the People’s Power Party garnered 39 percent, and the Democratic Party earned 35 percent. “The People’s Power Party’s approval rating at 39 percent represents the second highest level during the incumbent administration, and the highest since the 2016 general elections,” Gallup Korea said. As for the approval rating of President Moon Jae-in, 40 percent of the respondents in the survey responded, ‘He is doing well,’ while 53 percent said ‘He is doing badly.’