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Park Geun-hye: The Old Folk Strike Back

The JoongAng Ilbo examines the role older voters—who make up 40% of the electorate—played in putting Park on top.

In particular, the JoongAng noted that polling data prior to the election tended to skew progressive since most polling is online, favoring younger, more Internet-savvy voters. In the words of one consulting company head, the “hidden conservative vote”—I guess something akin to Nixon’s Silent Majority—wasn’t being reflected in the polls.

The result was that older voters—watching the online polls—turned out en masse Wednesday out of a sense of crisis to vote for Park Geun-hye.

In particular, security issues—the North Korean missile launch and allegations the Roh administration wanted to abandon the NLL—may have played an important role in Park’s better-than-expected performance in Gyeonggi-do and Incheon, where districts close to North Korea or with lots of military facilities voted heavily in favor of Park.

The JoongAng also cited some other victory factors, most notably Park’s own personal “brand,” which allowed her to win as a ruling party candidate despite the current administration’s approval rating of just 25.6%. Also helping was Park’s strong support in her home region, her double-digit performance in Honam (a first for the conservatives), a unified conservative movement and disorder and mistakes by the opposition.

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  • SomeguyinKorea

    “In particular, security issues—the North Korean missile launch and
    allegations the Roh administration wanted to abandon the NLL—may have
    played an important role in Park’s better-than-expected performance in
    Gyeonggi-do and Incheon, where districts close to North Korea or with
    lots of military facilities voted heavily in favor of Park.”

    Yup, North Korea royally screwed itself with that rocket launching, thinking it would make South Koreans want to vote for Moon.

  • Jakgani

    North Korean thinking has always been weird.

    They can’t comprehend that they (North Korea) launching a rocket is going to have the effect of people voting for someone is
    is hardline against North Korea – especially as they did kill her mother.

    Their thinking is “scaring” South Korea by launching a rocket is going to scare South Koreans into voting for someone who is going to be kind to them – obviously JongEun failed Psy 101.

  • RElgin

    Still, this is putting a spin on what has been an almost complete failure in this election process to produce a candidate or party whose policies or quality of leadership is no better than poor.  Both candidates deserved to lose but, instead the public is forced to pick through garbage to find something palatable.  Saenuri/Hanara did not win – they avoided defeat.

    Ahn Chul-soo has a mandate if he will accept the heavy burdens that lie ahead and step up.

  • KWillets

    The rocket launch is probably based on older thinking that a show of strength would harm the ruling party and convince voters to support appeasement.  At best it’s a massive miscalculation, either of the direction voters would turn, or of the amount voters care about NK.  

  • pawikirogii 석아

    with the election of northeast asia’s first female president, sk has done what the us has not. park chong hee’s legacy has now come full circle. park chong hee is one of the greatest men of  the 20th century. he built a society and put food into the bellies of koreans so koreans could produce koreans who disparage the man. lady park’s election to the blue house completes park chong hee’s legacy.  

  • Anonymous_Joe

    with the election of northeast asia’s first female president, sk has done what the us has not.

    What’s that?  Long so much for the halcyon days of military dictatorship that those old enough to remember it were willing to break their deepest cultural prejudices? 

  • YangachiBastardo

    pawi: i hold no particular dislike of her and prolly if i was Korean she would have been my electoral pick, honestly though i doubt she is a woman of her father standing (whatever opinion we all may have of him), she is a product of this, much less heroic, time.

    I’m very curious what stance she will adopt toward China…considering that Chinese new leadership is also quite puzzling.

    We will see, as i said i believe the country will do well no matter who’s in the Blue House 

     Long so much for the halcyon days of military dictatorship that those old enough to remember it were willing to break their deepest cultural prejudices?

    I know you are being snarky here but that’s in itself a sign of an extremely flexible society, underneath the rigid facade

  • http://profiles.google.com/dcmusicfreak DC Musicfreak

    Congrats to Park, but her victory still doesn’t break the Asia-wide pattern of female leaders that are widows or daughters (or in one case a Thai sibling.)

  • SomeguyinKorea

     I guess he spent more time playing video games and watching basketball on TV than interacting with people who aren’t North Korean when he went to school in Switerzland.

  • Bill

     From what I hear from Korean people, it seems that both parties deserved to lose, rather than both candidates. Ms. Park was able to distance herself enough from Saenuri and win, while Mr. Moon wasn’t able to distance himself enough from the DUP, even with Mr. Ahn’s support.

  • madar

    There is some truth to that.  Anh was reportedly a bit of a zero as far as electable charisma goes, but people are so jaded with the politics as usual here that he had a massive following just as a potentially viable non status quo personage.  A friend of mine in the news business here often talks about how Korea is one of the only countries were people running for their first offical office will put their occupation as politics.  They have been groomed by the party system for years;  and are not normal people, with normal jobs, who have taken an interest in politics at a local level and have climbed the ladder, as is the case in most countries.  There is a lot of back room dealing old boy network politics at work here, and I personally know some of the people making those deals so I can assure you its true, and, it appears, (and I hope), a lot of normal Koreans are getting sick of it. 

  • jdavid59555

     indeed