2005-11-04 06:45:00
American Institute Taiwan, Taipei
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TAIPEI 004469 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/03/2015

Classified By: AIT Acting Director David J. Keegan, Reason(s):
1.4 (B/D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TAIPEI 004469



E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/03/2015

Classified By: AIT Acting Director David J. Keegan, Reason(s):
1.4 (B/D)

1. (U) Summary. With one month to go, several analyses of
public opinion polls indicate Pan-Blue parties Kuomintang
(KMT) and People First Party (PFP) have a substantial lead in
the run up to December 3 local elections. The DPP informed
the press that its own public opinion polls show DPP leading
in 8 races with possibilities of winning any or all of 10
other races. While there are four weeks left before the
December 3 elections, and the official campaign will not
start until November 22, the DPP has yet to staunch its
continuing slide in public opinion polls, largely because of
a series of well-publicized scandals. End Summary.

Bloggers Give KMT 15, DPP 5

2. (U) An analysis of public opinion polls by United Daily
News (UDN),China Times, TVBS, Era, Tongsen (all pro-Blue
organizations),and several unnamed polling outfits, by a
succession of "bloggers" on the UDN opinion poll web page
storypage.jsp?f ART ID=19450) found the Pan-Blue alliance
leading in 15 election districts, the first ten by solid
(wending) margins:
-- 1) Taoyuan County: KMT Magistrate Eric Chu (incumbent)
led by large margins in all five polls to date.
-- 2) Hsinchu County: KMT Cheng Yung-chin led by large
margins in all four polls.
-- 3) Hsinchu City: KMT Lin Cheng-che led by large margins
in all four polls.
-- 4) Miaoli County: KMT Liu Cheng-hung led in all six polls.
-- 5) Taichung County: KMT Huang Chung-sheng led in all five
-- 6) Taichung City: KMT Jason Hu led with large margins in
all nine polls.
-- 7) Hualien County: KMT Hsieh Shen-shan led by a huge
margin in the only poll taken.
-- 8) Taitung County: Independent (but KMT member) Wu
Chun-li led in four of the five polls, two with large margins.
-- 9) Kinmen County (Island): New Party (allied with the
KMT) incumbent Magistrate Lee Chu-feng is unchallenged.
-- 10) Lienchiang County (Matsu Island): Pan-Blue People
First Party (PFP) Chen Hsueh-sheng is unchallenged.
-- 11) Taipei County: KMT Chou Hsi-wei led in 15 of the 16
polls taken, with gradually widening margins in recent polls.
-- 12) Changhua County: KMT Cho Po-yuan led in four of the

six polls taken.
-- 13) Chiayi City: KMT Huang Min-hui led with large margins
in the most recent three of four polls taken.
-- 14) Ilan County: KMT Lu Kuo-hua led in three of the four
polls taken.
-- 15) Penghu County: Wang Chien-fa led by narrow margins in
the two polls taken.

3. (U) The ruling DPP leads in the following 5 districts,
the first four by substantial margins:
-- 1) Chiayi County: DPP Cheng Ming-wen led by a huge margin
in the one poll taken.
-- 2) Tainan County: DPP Su Huan-chih led in all four polls.
-- 3) Tainan City: DPP Hsu Tien-tsai led in all four polls.
-- 4) Kaohsiung County: DPP Yang Chiu-hsing led in all six
-- 5) Yunlin County: DPP Su Chih-fen led in four of the five
polls taken, but tied in the most recent poll with KMT
candidate Hsu Shu-po. (Note: This appears to omit the most
recent poll, by China Times, in which KMT's Hsu led DPP's Su
27 to 17 percent. End Note.)

4. (U) In three districts the races are too close to call:
-- 1) Keelung City: An intra-Pan-Blue fight between PFP Liu
Wen-hsiung, who led in 5 polls, and KMT Hsu Tsai-li, who led
in 4; the two were tied in the 10th poll taken to date. The
DPP candidate withdrew in lieu of Pan-Green partner Taiwan
Solidarity Union's candidate Chen Chien-ming, who has trailed
badly in all 10 polls.
-- 2) Pingtung County: KMT Wang Chin-shih led in the first
three and the last of six polls taken, while DPP Tsai
Chi-hung won the fourth and fifth polls.
-- 3) Nantou County: After DPP Tsai Huang-lang led in the
first of the five polls taken, the next three were virtually
a dead head, while KMT Lee Chao-ching won the fifth and most
recent poll, after the PFP candidate withdrew in favor of the

"The Journalist" Makes it KMT 16, DPP 5

5. (U) The current issue of "The Journalist" (Xinxinwen)
magazine has a similar election tour d'horizon based on
published public opinion polls. "The Journalist" concludes:
-- Pan-Blue leads in 16 counties/cities: Taipei, Taoyuan,
Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Changhua, Ilan, Hualien, Taitung,
Penghu, Kinmen, and Lienchiang (Matsu) Counties, and Keelung,
Hsinchu, Taichung, and Chiayi Cities. Blue leads in Taoyuan,
Kinmen and Lienchiang Counties, and Hsinchu and Taichung
Cities are "solid."
-- DPP leads in 5 counties/cities: Kaohsiung, Chiayi,
Tainan, and Yunlin Counties (the first two with "solid"
leads),and Tainan City.
-- Nantou and Pingtung counties are too close.

DPP Hoping and Fighting

6. (U) Finally, DPP Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang told the
media on November 2 according to the DPP's own polls, DPP
candidates are leading in eight races but with significantly
smaller margins than before a series of "negative news"
reports about the DPP over the past six weeks. Lee insisted
the DPP has unified following President Chen Shui-bian's
apology for the involvement of some government officials in
scandals, and insisted the party would go all out to win a
majority of the 23 races at stake on December 3. He
identified Ilan County, Taipei County, and Chiayi City as the
three key races on which the DPP is focusing its campaigning
most intensively.

7. (U) According to Lee, DPP candidates are leading in 8
election districts: Changhua, Nantou, Yunlin, Chiayi,
Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung Counties and Tainan City.
DPP is in a tug-of-war with the KMT in Taipei, Ilan and
Penghu Counties and in Chiayi City. The DPP, Lee continued,
also believes it has a chance and will campaign intensively
in: Taichung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli Counties and in
Taichung and Hsinchu Cities.

Comment on Taiwan Public Opinion Polls

8. (C) Even though the above compilations of public opinion
polls are not "scientific," because they involve polls of
differing methodology and quality, they compositely suggest
the image of a resurgent KMT and a DPP in trouble. Of the
105 polls compiled by the bloggers, 83 were carried out by
United Daily News (UDN),China Times, TVBS, Era, and Tongsen,
all of which are reputable survey organizations that use
similar sampling and polling methodologies. The primary
differences among them and their survey findings involve (1)
the number of cross-tabulations released to the public (an
essential tool for close election analysis) and (2) the level
of distortion in the findings by survey organizations with
publicly identified political leanings (usually caused by
respondents of different political persuasion deliberately
mislead pollsters).

9. (C) The widely acknowledged Blue leanings do introduce
two distortions: many pro-Green voters will not respond to
poll-takers; and several have told us in previous elections
that they routingly lie to such pollsters. However, polling
experts and political operatives of all stripes tell AIT that
these distortions are themselves regular and predictable and
can be discounted. For example, DPP polling specialists and
political leaders tell AIT that they consider poll results
from the Blue-leaning UDN to be generally accurate and
useful; once they lop off an automatic five percent from the
support for Pan-Blue candidates, the results track closely
with the DPP's own surveys performed by unidentified

10. (C) Beyond the accuracy of the polls is the question of
their impact. In past elections, DPP organizers argued that
bad news for Green candidates energized their base and good
news for Blue candidates made their supporters complacent.
Both phenomena benefited the Green. The key question is
whether that will happen yet again.