Last week on my social media I posted some charts from a My Formosa poll with comments on Taipei Mayor and Taiwan People’s Party Chair Ko Wen-je.
My-Formosa rated “faith in” (or trust in) six leaders, with the rankings showing New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih of the KMT at #1, Vice President William Lai of the DPP at #2, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan of the DPP at #3, Ko Wen-je at #4, former New Taipei Mayor and KMT chair Eric Chu at #5 and President Tsai Ing-wen at #6.
While Ko Wen-je does well in national polling, he’s regularly ranked very low by residents of Taipei.
Another poll question asked the public who was “most suitable” to be president.
Unsurprisingly Hou Yu-ih came in first at 22.35% and William Lai second at 21.8%.
Ko Wen-je did quite well, coming in with 17.8%.
Pulling up the rear were Eric Chu at 7.1% and Cheng Wen-tsan at 6.7%.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions on the next presidential race, so I’ll probably do a full Briefing show on that topic soon–but the point here is he’s a presidential contender, and he’s already announced he’ll run if polling shows he has a chance.
So far, it looks like he does, though definitely an outside chance.
It was the other chart I posted that really caught my attention.
It shows faith in (or trust in) the candidates by party affiliation, and broken down into deep, medium and light blue and green.
Only about 40 plus percent of light and medium greens had faith in Ko, but deep greens are clearly suspicious of him, giving him less than 20%.
In the independents category, which Ko ostensibly is supposed to represent, he was in the middle of the pack among the candidates, getting 50 plus to 60 plus percent.
The part of the chart that really jumped out, however, was on the pan-blue side.
Ko was second among all three categories of blues, only after Hou.
He even ranked slightly higher than the KMT’s Eric Chu.
Here’s the truly staggering thing, the group that supports Ko the most?
Deep blues, followed by medium blues, followed by light blues.
Both deep blues and medium blues ranked him at over 70%.
I’ve done multiple shows on Ko and the TPP which you can refer back to for the bigger picture, but suffice it to say that he has run as what I refer to as a “Taipei centrist”.
He brought together a coalition of pan-greens, pan-blues and “a pox on all your houses” voters to win back-to-back elections for Taipei mayor.
“Taipei centrist”, however, isn’t the same as “Taiwan centrist”–Taipei is a blue-leaning city.
Most green voters are now aware he’s not in their camp, at least not any longer.
In terms of messaging, he has mostly been targeting light blue voters–which makes sense, many identify as Taiwanese, but distrust the DPP.
In the My Formosa poll he did do well with light blue voters, but it was very striking that his strongest support came from deep blue voters.
This has been much on my mind, and it was in this context that Taipei city councillor Miao Poya (苗博雅) of the Social Democratic Party released a 13-second video clip on Facebook featuring Ko addressing a camera on CTiTV News.
Ko was praising CTiTV News for being the biggest Youtuber news outlet and for their professional oversight of the government, among other things.
This is a bombshell.
CTiTV lost their license to broadcast on cable TV, and has since been removed from Chunghua Telecom’s MOD set top box, due to repeated violations of news ethics.
They only broadcast now on Youtube.
The channel is backed by Want Want China Times, and the Financial Times reported that they were getting direct orders on some of their content direct from China.
At one point, they were devoting around ⅔ of their entire news programming to then Kaohsiung Mayor and presumed presidential candidate for the KMT Han Kuo-yu.
The channel is deep, deep blue.
They are so partisan they make Fox and CNN look like paragons of impartial news reporting.
While it’s too early to say for sure, this does raise the question of whether he is intentionally reaching out to deep blue voters.
And if so, why?
Did he see the same poll and decide to move in that direction?
This is definitely something to keep an eye on.
He’s come a long way since the days he famously supported Chen Shui-bian for president.
Image courtesy of Ko’s FB page