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(2nd LD) Moon's approval dips below 40 pct for first time in 10 months

All News 14:53 August 14, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with previous low in rating in 5th para, Cheong Wa Dae's response in paras 7-8)
By Lee Chi-dong

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in's job approval rating has plunged to below 40 percent for the first time in 10 months, a major poll showed Friday, amid unrelenting public anger over the government's real estate policy.

In the three-day Gallup Korea survey conducted on 1,001 voters nationwide through Thursday, 39 percent of respondents expressed support for the president, down 5 percentage points from the previous week.

The proportion of those critical of his leadership jumped 7 percentage points to 53 percent. The margin of error is plus and minus 3.1 percentage points.

It was the first time that Moon's approval has fallen below 40 percent in the weekly Gallup poll since last October, when his presidency suffered a serious blow over his appointment of Cho Kuk, a close aide, as justice minister despite controversies over whether he was suited to the position.

A Gallup survey in the third week of October 2019 put the rating at 39 percent, a tie with the latest figure that represents the lowest since Moon took office in May 2017.

President Moon Jae-in attends an emergency government meeting in Seoul to discuss countermeasures on recent heavy rains on Aug. 11, 2020. (Yonhap)

Support for Moon among those in their 30s plummeted 17 percentage points. It declined 13 percentage points in Seoul alone.

Cheong Wa Dae said it would "turn over a new leaf" to win back public support.

"(We) will make constant steps to take care of pending state affairs, concentrating all-out efforts on flood damage recovery, the coronavirus response and economic issues including the realization of residential justice," a Cheong Wa Dae official said at a press briefing.

The ruling Democratic Party's rating shed 4 percentage points to 33 percent, while that of the main opposition United Future Party gained 2 percentage points to 27 percent.

The Moon administration has recently come under fierce criticism for failing to stabilize the housing market. Apartment prices have continued to soar mainly in Seoul and nearby regions. A lengthy spell of heavy rains also caused huge damage in a number of areas in the nation, while new coronavirus infections are rebounding.


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