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Ahn rises to 2nd, narrows gap with Moon

Mar 31,2017
Presidential hopeful Ahn Cheol-soo’s approval rating is now in second place with 17.4 percent support, trailing Moon Jae-in of the Democratic Party, according to a poll by Realmeter earlier this week.

This is an increase of 4.8 percent for Rep. Ahn of the Peoples’ Party, compared to the week before. Moon, who now has 35.2 percent, is up by 0.8 percent. It was the first time for the business mogul-turned-lawmaker to rank second in 10 months.

Ahn has received a boost from supporters for South Chungcheong Governor An Hee-jung, whose chances of wining the DP nomination are slipping away with two primary losses to Moon this week. Disappointed with An’s performance in the primaries in Jeolla and Chungcheong regions, his supporters are thought to have flocked to Ahn. Since last week, An’s approval is down by 5.1 percent to 12 percent and Ahn’s is up by almost the same amount.

Coming in fourth is Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung with 9.5 percent. South Gyeongsang Governor Hong Joon-pyo, who is expected to win the Liberty Korea Party’s nomination on Friday, follows with 7.7 percent. Rep. Yoo Seong-min, who won the Bareun Party’s nomination this week, continues his struggle with a scant three percent.

The latest poll gives weight to Ahn’s declaration that this year’s election will be between himself and Moon. Should his popularity continue to rise, players outside the Moon camp and the DP may combine their political capital to field him as a candidate to defeat Moon.

The Realmeter poll was conducted from Monday to Wednesday of 1,525 adults nationwide with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]