Moon’s approval ratings fall below mid-50 percentage

Posted on : 2018-09-02 12:50 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Support for Democratic Party stands at 40 percent
South Korean President Moon Jae-in poses with attendees of a workshop for innovating the public sector at the National Health Insurance Office in Wonju
South Korean President Moon Jae-in poses with attendees of a workshop for innovating the public sector at the National Health Insurance Office in Wonju

President Moon Jae-in’s governance approval rating has fallen below the mid-50 percent range, a recent survey shows.

A survey of 1,000 adult South Koreans nationwide by the specialist polling organization Gallup Korea on Aug. 28–30 (margin of error ±3.1 percentage points, 95 percent confidence level) showed 53 percent of respondents rating President Moon’s governance performance positively during the fifth week of August.

The number was down three percentage points from 56 percent the week before. The downward trend continued for a second consecutive week after briefly stabilizing for the third week of August. Meanwhile, the percentage of negative ratings of his job performance stood at 38 percent, up five percentage points from the previous week.

Approval ratings according to age group and political affiliation

By age group, positive ratings were high among respondents in the twenties (67 percent), thirties (67 percent), and forties (62 percent) and low among those in their fifties (42 percent) and over sixty (37 percent). By party affiliation, the highest ratings were seen among respondents declaring support for the Democratic Party (82 percent) and Justice Party (66 percent), while just 16 and 24 percent of Liberty Korea Party and Bareunmirae Party supporters gave positive ratings, respectively.

Among respondents who did not declare support for any party, negative ratings outnumbered positive ones for a sixth straight week by a margin of 49 to 32 percent.

The Democratic Party had a support rating of 40 percent, down two percentage points from last week. The Liberty Korea Party’s support rating was up one percentage point to 12 percent, while the Justice Party’s was up three percentage points to 12 percent. Support for the Bareunmirae Party rose two percentage points to two percent, while “no party” was up one percentage point to 28 percent.

Negative ratings concerning economy, jobs and education

When asked by Gallup Korea about the administration’s policy performance in different areas, respondents gave more negative ratings in areas concerning the economy, jobs and labor, education, and the appointment of government officials. Twenty-six percent of respondents said the administration was “doing a good job” on the economy, while 53 percent said it was “doing poorly.” Ratings were 30 percent positive to 51 percent negative for employment/labor, 26 percent positive to 35 percent negative for education, and 30 percent positive to 37 percent negative for government appointments.

In contrast, ratings were 58 percent positive to 30 percent negative for North Korea policy and 55 percent positive to 23 percent negative for diplomacy.

Economic growth vs. distribution

When asked whether government economic policy should be focused more on economic growth or income distribution, 49 percent of respondents answered the former and 40 percent the latter. Around 55 percent of respondents in their twenties and thirties favored income distribution, while around 60 percent of those in their fifties favored economic growth. Opinions were mixed among respondents in their forties, with 46 percent favoring economic growth and 48 percent income distribution.

Sixty percent of respondents said they agreed with the direction of the administration’s income-driven growth policies, compared to 26 percent who opposed it.

“The direction and effects of income-driven growth policies need to be viewed separately. Since the aim of income-driven growth is ultimately economic growth, there is the possibility that this is what [respondents] were rating positively,” Gallup said.

“Rather than debating the rightness or wrongness of the income-driven growth approach itself, politicians need to be working toward changes and intelligent steps in terms of the implementation methods and pace,” the organization suggested.

A Blue House official said President Moon’s lowest-yet governance approval rating was “being taken very seriously.”

“We are viewing this not simply as a matter of public opinion, but as certain variables operating in profound ways,” the official said.

More detailed findings from the poll can be found in Korean on the Gallup Korea homepage and the National Election Survey Deliberation Commission website.

By Lee Kyung-mi, staff reporter

Please direct comments or questions to []

Related stories

Most viewed articles