Sunday, August 03, 2008

The New Fukuda Cabinet and the Reshuffle Bounce

The Big Four general-purpose mainstream dailies all took telephone polls (August 1-2) on the new Fukuda Cabinet. I’ve put the support/do-not-support percentage-point numbers in the following table in ideological order from the bleeding-heart liberal Asahi to the Japaneocon Sankei. The results of the previous polls are given in parentheses. The new Fukuda Cabinet receives zero lift in the Asahi poll, a modest 3pp from the more moderate Mainichi, a whopping 14.7pp leap from the establishment-populist Yomiuri, and above-the-statistical-noise 4.7pp from Sankei.

Yomiuri does warn against a straight comparison with its previous poll, which as a regular monthly poll used the face-to-face interview method (unlike the other three, which always use telephone polls). Still, it’s hard not to conclude that the results from the Big Four have lined up exactly asin the order you would expect them to. Note that Yomiuri has been far more supportive of the China-friendly, traditionally conservative Yasuo Fukuda than Sankei, which has made no secret of its displeasure with the namby-pamby Prime Minister. I suspect that the Prime Minister owes much of the bounce to Taro Aso, whose appointment as Secretary-General, the number two role in the LDP, has been received favorably across the board.

You know what? All in all, I think it is a modest bounce, no momentum changer.

support change not support
Asahi 24(24) - 55(58)
Mainichi 25(22) +3 52(54)
Yomiuri 41.3(26.6) +14.7 47.0(61.3)
Sankei 31.5(26.8) +4.7 48.1(53.5)

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