President Moon Jae-in’s job approval rating tumbled to its lowest point since he took office, pollster Realmeter said Thursday.
In a survey of 2,007 eligible voters conducted between Monday and Wednesday by Realmeter, 43.8 percent of the respondents said Moon was doing a good job, down 3.4 percentage points from last week.
Realmeter attributed the decline to continued media reports on the ongoing investigations into Justice Minister Cho Kuk’s family.
The weekly poll was commissioned by TBS and has a 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.
Moon’s previous lowest approval rating was 44.9 percent in the second week of March.
Moon’s disapproval rating gained 3 percentage points to reach 53 percent, the highest level since he came to power in May 2017.
The gap between approval and disapproval ratings widened beyond the margin of error to 9.2 percentage points.
About 3.2 percent did not respond or said they weren’t sure.
President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)
By region, the sharpest declines from last week in Moon’s approval ratings were seen in Seoul, where it dropped to 40.9 percent from 49 percent; in Gwangju and the Jeolla provinces, where it went down from 71.2 percent to 63.7 percent; and in Daejeon, Sejong and the Chungcheong provinces, which showed a decrease from 49 percent to 42.6 percent.
The president’s approval ratings also dropped significantly among respondents in their 30s, from 60.3 percent to 48.5 percent. His approval rating among those in their 20s dropped to 43.7 percent from 48.7 percent, while 56.8 percent of those in their 40s approved compared with the previous week’s 60 percent. His approval rating among those in their 50s dropped to 42.6 percent from 45.1 percent.
The ratings rose in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, from 32.3 percent to 39 percent, and among respondents in their 60s, from 30.2 percent to 32.4 percent.
In a separate poll on Moon’s choice to appoint Cho as justice minister, more than half of the respondents disapproved.
In the survey of 504 people conducted Wednesday by Realmeter, 55.5 percent of the respondents said the appointment of Cho was a “bad decision,” and 35.3 percent said it was a good decision. About 9.2 percent did not answer or said they weren’t sure.
On the choice by some lawmakers from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, including party leader Hwang Kyo-ahn, to shave their heads to protest Cho’s appointment, and on the party’s demands for a parliamentary investigation into Cho and his family, also supported by the Bareunmirae Party, disapprovals surpassed approvals.
Of the 504 people polled Wednesday, 52.4 percent said they disapproved of the opposition’s struggle to remove Cho from his seat, and 42.1 percent said they approved.
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com