Frozen Garlic: Is Han succeeding in ruining polls?

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On November 28, Han Kuo-yu decided that he had had enough of bad polling numbers and asked his supporters not to answer any more polls. The next day, he went one step further and asked them to tell pollsters that they “only supported Tsai Ing-wen.” Yesterday on a TVBS talk show, he explained his decision.

The DPP, he claimed, had two main campaign tactics, polls and mudslinging. He was taking one of those tactics away. He expressed doubt about the veracity of polls. A recent poll had shown him losing by over 30 points, and, to Han, it seemed like this pollster was doing a survey in a karoke bar. These “fake surveys” were affecting his supporters’ morale, and overseas supporters were starting to doubt whether it was worth it to return to Taiwan to vote since the polls looked hopeless. As a result, he decided to cover his tiles [note: mahjong analogy] and wait until election day to uncover them.

So, has Han’s tactic worked? Has he completely scrambled the polls? The polls certainly do look different after his gambit. Before Nov 28, only one poll was published showing him trailing by 30 points. In contrast, four of the seven polls conducted entirely after Nov 28 have shown him trailing by at least 30 points (and two others had the lead at over 28 points).

However, this does not necessarily imply that his supporters are following his instructions and deliberately misleading pollsters. There are three plausible scenarios that might be creating this result.

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Is Han succeeding in ruining polls?

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