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Your post-Chuseok polls

Chuseok is a very important time for Korean presidential elections. Chuseok is the time when large families with different political opinions get together. They often engage in heated discussions, thereby refining their positions and solidifying their support for one candidate or another. Thus, in the last three presidential elections, the presidential candidate who fell behind in the polls after Chuseok never managed to recover.

Can Park Geun-hye turn that trend around? Park still trails Ahn Cheol-soo, but she appears to be gaining some traction, possibly because of her latest apology for her father’s dictatorial legacy. In the first post-Chuseok poll conducted by Chosun Ilbo and Media Research, Park lost the head-to-head with Ahn Cheol-soo, 47.4% to 44.7%. But the gap of 2.7% is significantly smaller compared to the pre-Chuseok gap, which was 8.7%. Park very narrowly led the head-to-head poll against Moon Jae-in, 46.4% to 46.1%. This, again, is an improvement for Park, who very narrowly trailed Moon before Chuseok (by 0.9%.)

In a three-way poll, Park, Ahn and Moon gathered 39.1%, 29.4% and 22.5%, respectively. That Park trails the progressive field by such a huge margin — 51.9% to 39.1% — should be a cause for concern for Park. In a poll that asked whether the respondent would prefer to see an NFP candidate win or a progressive candidate win, the result was similar — 51.7% preferred the progressive candidate, while 36.9% preferred the NFP candidate.

Overall, Ahn Cheol-soo sank during Chuseok, possibly because of the latest expose on the “down contract.” In addition to the narrowed gap in the head-to-head, Ahn also saw his lead in the head-to-head against Moon Jae-in decrease. In a head-to-head poll asking for preference for the unified progressive candidate, Ahn led Moon, 47% to 43.4% — a mere 3.6% lead, compared to the 10.6% lead pre-Chuseok. But in the poll that compared the electability of Ahn versus Moon (asked to progressive and undecided voters only,) Ahn led Moon 50% to 39.5%.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    And in an exercise of blatant partisanship, here is a badass picture of Moon Jae-in, in the army training camp: http://photo.donga.com/view.php?idxno=201209281448&category=0003

  • yuna

    It’s getting a little bit too long for these two(Ahn and Moon) for their popularity garnering head-to-head. I know it hasn’t turned nasty and hopefully it won’t but neither has it become clear which one should run, and it might not in which case, one of them should step down even at the cost of turning down the presidency. It’s just getting a little too dragged out at the moment.
    I would like Moon to step down, he seems to fit the bill of a great second-in-command, but maybe he is letting the power thing get to his head.

  • yuna

    And the LAST thing we can afford is to send voters to Park’s camp(not that likely) or to waste their vote if the candidate of their choice doesn’t run and this will probably happen the longer they are both in the race.

  • Ladron

    My university students seem to unanimously hate Park Geun-hye primarily because she referred to Hodok as “peasant food” that she had never eaten. Whether this is true or just some netizen rumor, I have no idea. However, I’ve learned that, in Korea, rumor or truth are irrelevant. What the people believe is what’s important.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    It’s getting a little bit too long for these two(Ahn and Moon) for their popularity garnering head-to-head.

    Patience. This is not long at all. The deadline to register as a presidential candidate is Nov. 23 (going by memory, could be off by a week) — until that point, they are better off running separately. It will keep people’s attention on the progressive side, and it will also do much to bounce off NFP’s attacks. (Attack Ahn, watch Moon improve, and vice versa.) 1.5 month of political theater will be great for these candidates.

    Whether this is true or just some netizen rumor, I have no idea. However, I’ve learned that, in Korea, rumor or truth are irrelevant.

    You can’t be bothered to check the truth or falsity of a claim through the simplest Internet search, and you think Koreans are the ones who don’t care about truth or falsity?

  • DLBarch

    Contra Yuna, I’m staying in Moon’s corner, but either way, one question that dogs me is which progressive candidate is likely to see more defections to the Park camp if the other drops out of the race.

    As much as I’d like to say it’s Ahn, I have to say right now that it’s probably Moon. If Moon drops out, I doubt very many of his supporters would bale and switch over to Park, if for no other reason that Moon is a genuinely progressive candidate and appeals to genuinely progressive voters.

    But Ahn appeals to both progressives and moderates, and even has a following among generally pro-business types. It’s precisely these voters who most likely would defect the progressive camp and vote for Park.

    I suspect this is one reason behind that 50/39.5 split among those who see Ahn or Moon as the better candidate for defeating Park.

    DLB

  • sumo294

    Ladron–Your anecdote perfectly captures how a strange blend of emotionalism and irrationalism drives the Korean lefties to rapturous levels of hatred, and is especially ironic since this university student (and many others of her ilk, I grieve) does not even realize that “Hodok” as you spell it, or 호떡, is not even of Korean origins. Personally, the stuff is a fat/carb monstrosity, usually fried in a half-inch pool of low-quality oil. In my youth, when I had no money, I would eat it to keep myself going but really, you would be hard pressed these days to find too many fans in Seoul (and I would bet that this student of yours hardly touches it either, if at all) . . . not sure about the jibangs, however.

  • Ladron

    *thekorean-
    You can’t be bothered to check the truth or falsity of a claim through the simplest Internet search, and you think Koreans are the ones who don’t care about truth or falsity?

    Exactly. I have no voting power, so why is it important to me? Perhaps you weren’t here when I had bottles thrown at me for being an American during the mad cow protests. Perhaps you missed me posting about middle aged Korean men yelling, “NO FTA!” while throwing thing at me. Since you live in my hometown of DC, let me ask you: How many times have you been attacked because of Cho Seung Hui’s actions at Virginia Tech? Would it matter to you who became governor after that if you HAD been attacked?
    Big fan of your blog, btw. please don’t consider this a personal assault.

    *Sumo-
    Does it matter? Many Korean still eat beondaegi (or however you want to romanize it, no hangeul on this computer) despite thinking eating insects is dirty.
    Would you eat spiders?
    -no, gross.
    Would you eat grasshoppers?
    -no, only old people and Chinese do that
    Would you eat beondagi?
    -Yes of course, very delicious and good for health.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    How many times have you been attacked because of Cho Seung Hui’s actions at Virginia Tech? Would it matter to you who became governor after that if you HAD been attacked?

    Answer for the first question: zero.

    Answer for the second question: assuming I am in the same boat as you (i.e. not having voting rights) — YES! It matters a great deal. If you were personally affected by Korea’s domestic political situation, shouldn’t you care more about Korea’s political situation, with or without voting rights?

    FYI — what your students were talking about is this picture (last one in the series): Link It shows PGH expressionlessly staring at 호떡, as if she never tried it before. While one can never be certain with just a single picture, the picture sure doesn’t help PGH’s yushin princess image. I have no way of knowing exactly what was said in your classroom, but I very much doubt that your students “primarily” dislike PGH because of this picture. Probably something got lost in translation there.

    Sorry to hear what happened to you during the protests, though. Those things can get rough around the edges, and people who are not accustomed to them might find certain aspects shocking.

  • Ladron

    thekorean- Thanks for your sympathy (honestly)

    And I understand your opinion regarding who gets elected. I have my opinion, of course, but it does not matter, so…a fart in the wind as it were. I would of course prefer the most pro- evil foreigner candidate.

    Regarding the photo – maybe that’s what they are talking about, but, again, it’s what people say and think that what matters. These are impressionable 19-23 year old girls (women) who will probably not be voting anyhow, but, there you go. Maybe someone heard from a friend of a friend of a friend who was there that she said it was Nongbu eumsik (no hangeul here, sorry) and it spread from there.

    Personal question – have you ever made it to the intersection of 495 and little river turnpike to the 24 hour Korean joint there? T’was my favorite place once upon a time…

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    I have my opinion, of course, but it does not matter, so…a fart in the wind as it were. I would of course prefer the most pro- evil foreigner candidate.

    I wouldn’t despair so easily. You might have noticed that Koreans very much care about what non-Korean people think about them. Develop a good strategy of persuasion, and you’d be surprised how much pull you could have if you played your cards right. A lot of evil foreigners made themselves a comfortable life in Korea doing that.

    Personal question – have you ever made it to the intersection of 495 and little river turnpike to the 24 hour Korean joint there? T’was my favorite place once upon a time…

    You must have been out of the area for a while — Annandale along Little River Turnpike became a full-fledged Koreatown, and there are several 24-hour Korean places along the way. Not sure which one you are talking about exactly, but I do find myself in Annandale at least once or twice a week. But given that I am a total Korean food snob, I only like one place along that street.

  • Ladron

    *thekorean- A lot of evil foreigners made themselves a comfortable life in Korea doing that.

    Trying, kid, trying.

    XXPersonal question – have you ever made it to the intersection of 495 and little river turnpike to the 24 hour Korean joint there? T’was my favorite place once upon a time…

    * You must have been out of the area for a while — Annandale along Little River Turnpike became a full-fledged Koreatown, and there are several 24-hour Korean places along the way.

    7 years, give or take, and I’m talking about Yeachon.

  • Ladron

    Since this is spiraling off topic, we should take this conversation personal, if you feel so inclined – ladron@hotmail.

  • Maximus2008

    I just think it is ridiculous that people are likely to vote for someone just because of “apologies” (which are supposed to mean something in Korea, but since nobody believes it, they are anyway meaningless), instead of looking into proposals and plans for the future and the country.

    Amateurs.

  • DLBarch

    Re: TK @ 11,

    I happen to know on very good authority that TK only eats at David Chang’s Momofuku.

    Heh-heh.

    DLB

  • brier

    A strong get out the vote in the rural areas and an appeal to women voters for Miss Park and she wins.

  • guitard

    sumo294 wrote:

    . . . many . . . do not even realize that “Hodok” as you spell it, or 호떡, is not even of Korean origins. Personally, the stuff is a fat/carb monstrosity, usually fried in a half-inch pool of low-quality oil.

    Sorry for continuing to take this thread off its original course, but as someone who thoroughly enjoys 호떡, I wanted to mention this.

    While you can still get the fried 호떡, there is another version that is quite common these days that essentially is baked – with no oil involved in the cooking process. It’s baked in a cooker that looks very similar to those used to make 붕어빵.

    I’ve noticed that just about everyone who makes this style of 호떡 is deaf/mute. Presumably it’s something that’s taught at a school for deaf/mute people.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Another gem from Cho Gab-je: http://www.chogabje.com/board/view.asp?C_IDX=47439&C_CC=AZ

    국민들의 약70%가 박정희 시대의 쟁점인 유신 시대까지도 긍정적으로 평가하고 있는데 딸이 나서서 아버지의 역사를 총체적으로 부정해버린 뒤로는 갑자기 박근혜 자신이 외롭게 되었다. 박근혜 지지의 반 이상은 아버지와 어머니에 대한 지지였다. 위대한 혁명가의 그늘에서 벗어나는 순간 그는 왜소한 존재가 된다. 역사와 民心의 큰 흐름을 읽지 못한 박근혜 후보의 치명적 실수는 참모 탓이 아니고 본인의 운명이다. 朴 후보가 비장한 자세를 취하면서, “내가 대통령이 되지 못하는 한이 있더라도 5.16과 유신, 아버지, 그리고 한국 현대사의 정당성은 양보할 수 없다”고 나섰다면 국민들을 감동시켰을 것이고 동정심을 자극, 박정희-육영수 지지는 ‘박근혜 지지’로 전환되었을 것이다.

    I don’t think I ever had a more mixed/self-conflicting reaction than the reaction I am having to this passage. This is at the same time penetratingly insightful and hilariously delusional. You gotta love CGJ — at least you know where he stands, at all times.

  • jkitchstk

    # 6 DLBarch,
    “I suspect this is one reason behind that 50/39.5 split among those who see Ahn or Moon as the better candidate for defeating Park.”

    Thanks for clearing that up. I suspect you got that from clicking on the link rather than from thekorean. In one sentence Park is leading and at the beginning of the next she’s behind…
    “In a three-way poll, Park, Ahn and Moon gathered 39.1%, 29.4% and 22.5%, respectively. That Park trails the progressive field by such a huge margin — 51.9% to 39.1% — should be a cause for concern for Park.”

    With that and all the “heads-to-heads” the polls seemed outrageously convoluted.

    thekorean,
    If you want Ladron and others to “care” please try and make it easier for us.

  • ecorn

    @jkitchstk

    With that and all the “heads-to-heads” the polls seemed outrageously convoluted.

    And unless one of the candidates actually drops out, they’re meaningless. There’s no run-off system in Korean presidential elections. Whoever has a plurality wins.

  • cm

    The movie “National Security”, a biography story of Kim Geun Tae and the Korean military rule of the past, is being released in November to effect the elections outcome. That’s a pretty sneaky attempt by left dominated Korean movie industry to stack the odds in favor for the left.

  • R. Elgin

    Kim Geun Tae was a very decent fellow too.
    I think PGH hiring convicted fellons to run her campaign will do more harm than this film. That woman smells desperate and the failure of her party to reform will lead to their downfall.

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