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[Newsmaker] Yoon far ahead of rivals as presidential hopeful: poll

Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl speaks before leaving the prosecution building after resigning from his post on Friday. (Yonhap)
Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl speaks before leaving the prosecution building after resigning from his post on Friday. (Yonhap)
Former chief prosecutor Yoon Seok-youl, who rose to stardom by defying the Moon Jae-in administration’s prosecutorial reform drive, beat his closest rival by a whopping 16.2 percentage points in the latest poll on presidential preference.

In the survey of 1,011 adults nationwide, conducted Friday by Realmeter and commissioned by YTN, 37.2 percent chose Yoon as their most preferred presidential hopeful.

The second-most-popular choice was Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung with 21 percent support, Realmeter said Monday.

Lee Nak-yon, former leader of the ruling Democratic Party, who once topped the polls, finished in third place with 11 percent support.

Hong Joon-pyo, an independent four-term lawmaker who ran in the previous presidential election, came in fourth with 5.9 percent

They were followed by Ahn Cheol-soo (5 percent), leader of the minor People’s Party; Rhyu Si-min (3.2 percent), chief of the Roh Moo-hyun Foundation; Choo Mi-ae (2.4 percent), former justice minister; and Chung Sye-kyun (2.4 percent), who quit as prime minister on Friday.

In a hypothetical two-way race between Yoon and Gov. Lee Jae-myung, 51.1 percent of the respondents said they would vote for the former prosecutor general, while 32.3 percent chose Lee.

Yoon was preferred over Gov. Lee even in the Democratic Party’s traditional stronghold, the Jeolla region.

Between Yoon and Gov. Lee, 41.4 percent of the respondents in Gwangju and South and North Jeolla provinces said they would vote for Yoon, while 40.8 percent picked Gov. Lee.

In a two-way competition between Yoon and former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, 51.6 percent preferred Yoon, while 30.1 percent chose the former prime minister, who resigned as Democratic Party leader in March.

Between Yoon and former Prime Minister Lee, 37.5 percent of the respondents in Gwangju and South and North Jeolla provinces said they would vote for Yoon, while 33.5 percent picked the former prime minister.

The Realmeter poll was conducted through an automated response system by calling mobile phones (90 percent) and fixed lines (10 percent).

The survey has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
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