Approval ratings for President Moon Jae-in and the ruling Democratic Party inched up this week amid a major resurgence of COVID-19, which previously had declined for two consecutive weeks.
A pollster attributed the uptick to the fact that anti-government rallies by conservative groups on Liberation Day, Aug. 15, were a factor in the latest spread of the coronavirus nationwide.
Thousands of protesters, led by pastor Jun Kwang-hoon, gathered in Gwanghwamun on Aug. 15. Among them were members of Jun’s Sarang Jeil Church, the apparent source of a cluster of infections.
A nationwide survey of 1,506 voters conducted Tuesday and Wednesday by Realmeter showed that Moon’s approval rating, or the percentage of people who positively assessed Moon’s job performance, rose 1.8 percentage point from a week ago to 45.1 percent.
The percentage of respondents who viewed his performance negatively fell 0.3 percentage point to 52.3 percent, while the remaining 2.6 percent didn’t respond or said they didn’t know.
Moon’s ratings jumped notably among people in their 20s and people in their 50s. The increase was 8.7 percentage points for people in their 20s and 5.8 percentage points for people in their 50s.
But the rating dropped by 5.2 percentage points among respondents in their 30s.
Ratings for the Democratic Party climbed 4.1 percentage points from a week ago to 38.9 percent, beating the main opposition United Future Party (37.1 percent) by a small margin.
In the previous weekly poll by Realmeter, the United Future Party saw higher ratings than the ruling party for the first time since former President Park Geun-hye faced impeachment in late 2016.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org