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[Election 2022] Lee narrows gap with Yoon in poll

Lee Jae-myung (left), the presidential nominee of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, shakes hands with Yoon Seok-yeol, the nominee of the main opposition People Power Party, at a forum in Seoul on Nov. 24. (Yonhap)
Lee Jae-myung (left), the presidential nominee of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, shakes hands with Yoon Seok-yeol, the nominee of the main opposition People Power Party, at a forum in Seoul on Nov. 24. (Yonhap)

Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the ruling party, is chasing Yoon Suk-yeol, his rival from the main opposition party, closing the gap in support to 6.5 percentage points, a poll showed Monday.

In a survey by local pollster Realmeter, Lee of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea posted 37.5 percent support against Yoon of the main opposition People Power Party at 44 percent.

The survey, conducted at the request of OhmyNews, a local online media outlet, took responses from 3,054 people over 18 from Nov. 29 to Friday.

While Yoon is leading in the poll, the gap between the two presidential candidates from the major parties has been reduced from 9.4 percentage points in the previous week to 6.5 points.

Yoon witnessed his support drop by 2.3 percentage points from the previous week, in the survey that reflects responses collected before Yoon mended ties with party leader Lee Jun-seok on Friday night.

Lee Jae-myung’s figure edged up by 0.6 percentage point during the same period.

For a month since Yoon was chosen as People Power Party’s presidential candidate early last month, he struggled in forming his election committee, clashing with the party leader over recruitment.

During the week the survey was conducted, the interim dispute had escalated to its peak tension, and Yoon’s daily support rating plunged by 5.4 percentage points, the poll showed.

According to the survey, Yoon recorded support of 47.1 percent on Nov. 29, but the daily figure two days later on Wednesday was 41.7 percent. Amid spiraling rumors that the presidential candidate was sidelining the party leader, Lee Jun-seok canceled all of his official activities Wednesday to go on an unannounced road trip in an apparent act of protest.

Their dramatic reconciliation happened Friday night -- after the poll had closed -- when Yoon traveled to Ulsan to meet Lee in a dinner meeting.

As the opposition party concentrated efforts to resolve the interim conflict in the week, the ruling party candidate continued with his electioneering activities and announcements on recruiting young talents in their 20s and 30s to his campaign.

In the same survey, Ahn Cheol-soo, the presidential candidate from the minor opposition People’s Party and Sim Sang-jung from the liberal Justice Party followed in the list with 3.8 percent and 3.2 percent support, respectively.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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