By Chris Wang / Staff reporter
Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), who is seeking re-election, enjoys a lead of almost 40 percentage points over Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興), a public opinion poll released yesterday showed.
In a rematch between Chen, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and Yang, who ran against Chen four years ago, the mayor routed Yang 58.7 percent to 19.1 percent in the latest survey by the Want Want China Times poll center, the Chinese-language China Times reported yesterday.
However, 22.3 percent of respondents said they were still undecided between the two.
Among those who said they would go to the poll on Nov. 29, 62.3 percent said that they would vote for Chen, while 20.3 percent favored Yang and 17.4 percent were undecided.
Asked who they thought would win the election, 65.3 percent of respondents answered Chen, 6.5 percent picked Yang and 28.2 percent said it was hard to predict the outcome.
Chen won majority of the support, or 90.5 percent, from respondents who identified themselves as DPP supporters, along with 33.7 percent among KMT supporters and 50 percent of independent voters.
The rivalry between the two dates back to 2009, when the central government decided to merge Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County into Greater Kaohsiung. Chen was the city mayor at the time, while Yang, then a member of the DPP, was the Kaohsiung County commissioner.
Chen and Yang competed in the DPP primary for the Greater Kaohsiung mayoral election in 2010, with Chen emerging victorious. Yang withdrew from the DPP and ran in the election as an independent, but lost to Chen, who garnered 52.8 percent of the total votes. Yang finished second with 26.7 percent, while the KMT’s candidate, Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), came in third with 20.5 percent.
Yang served as an official under President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, but did not join the KMT until last year.
While Yang may be hoping he has the upper hand in the regions that constitute the former Kaohsiung County, the survey suggests otherwise: Chen dominates both the former city (59.8 percent) and the former county (57.4 percent).
Only 19.8 percent of respondents in the former Kaohsiung City and 18.3 percent in the former Kaohsiung County said they supported Yang.
The survey, conducted on July 9 and 10, collected 854 valid samples and had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.