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Young, moderate adults ebb away from Moon’s support base

President Moon Jae-in. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in. (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in’s approval rating dropped to the lowest in three months, while the gap between the ruling and main opposition parties narrowed, a poll showed Thursday.

According to a poll conducted by Realmeter, Moon’s approval rating came to 49.4 percent in the first week of July. This is the first time the figure has dropped below 50 percent in Realmeter polls since the third week of March.

A Gallup Korea poll for the final week of June also showed similar results, putting Moon’s approval rating at 52 percent, the lowest since the third week of March.

In the Realmeter poll, the proportion of respondents negatively rating Moon’s performance has risen to 46.1 percent, which is the highest since the 47.9 percent recorded also in the third week of March.

The drop in Moon’s ratings appears to have been led by falling support from younger age groups -- those aged between 18 and 29, and those in their 30s.

In the latest poll, 46.8 percent of respondents aged 18-29 approved of Moon’s performance, while the figure for the 30s groups was 46.5 percent.

In comparison, 50.5 percent of the respondents in the 18-29 age group approved of Moon in the previous week’s poll, while the figure for the 30s group had come to 53.9 percent.

By political inclination, those identifying as moderates showed the largest change in their view of Moon, with the proportion of moderate respondents approving of Moon dropping from 49.5 percent to 43.6 percent.

Among the reasons for disapproving of Moon, his administration’s real estate policies and the issue surrounding irregular workers of Incheon International Airport Corp. being hired as regular workers saw the biggest increase.

The ruling Democratic Party’s approval ratings have fallen along with that of Moon, coming to 38.1 percent, down from 41.2 percent in the previous week. The main opposition United Future Party, in contrast, saw ratings rise from 28.1 percent to 30 percent.

Since its sweeping victory in the April 15 general elections, the ruling party has seen its support ratings drop significantly, while that of the main opposition party has fluctuated but remained largely the same.

Immediately after the elections, a Realmeter poll showed that 45.2 percent of the public supported the ruling party, while 29.5 percent said that they supported the main opposition party.

By Choi He-suk (