Friday, September 26, 2008

More on Aso Polls, Koizumi Addendum

A follow-up to the previous post:

Taro Aso does no better in the Yomiuri poll, where the numbers are 49.5-for, 33.4-against. The Koizumi-Abe-Fukuda-Aso drop-off is slightly more pronounced than in the Asahi poll, at 87.1-70.3-57.4-. The LDP does somewhat better over the DPJ at 37.4 to 22.8. He does even worse in the Sankei poll and Mainichi poll, at 44.4% and 45% support respectively.

It’s hard to draw any hard conclusions for the upcoming election from the major media polls since the numbers for party preferences and voting intentions are all over the place. But the support figures for the Aso Cabinet are clustered in a remarkably narrow range; expectations are low across the ideological spectrum. Moreover, the steady decline in the initial support for the three administrations following Junichiro Koizumi’s looks suspiciously like a series of dead cat’s bounces. The DPJ must be hoping, All we need is yet another series of misstatements—Hello, Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Nariaki Nakayama; here’s looking at you, Kunio Hatoyama and Shoichi Nakagawa and maybe even Taro Aso himself—and unseemly revelations—thank you, Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura—and we are set.

Prime Minister Koizumi’s decision to cede his seat to his 27-year old son is widely seen as a slap in the face for Prime Minister Aso. Perhaps. But I think that the immediate damage will accrue to the reformists and particularly the vulnerable first-term Koizumi Kids. Mr. Koizumi is likely to campaign hard to make sure that his offspring is the first through the stile, leaving him less time to stomp the sewer covers and wade through the rice paddies on behalf of his erstwhile supporters.


ross said...

I'd say the numbers look awful and the ongoing trajectory doesn't bode well. The LDP may lead 36-33 in the generic PR vote according to the Asahi poll but that is much too weak as a starting point. The DPJ ought to pull off at least a plurality win in the next election.

Note especially the DPJ's quick statement that it would be willing to support a budget vote in exchange for dissolving the lower house. This is Aso's best move and he had already tipped his hat in that direction. So now the DPJ can claim credit for getting its way, whether or not it had any effect.

Janne Morén said...

A question of some importance: are there poll numbers adjusted by voting strength?

Jun Okumura said...

Ross: For Prime Minister, it will be the LDP/New Komeito/independents vs. the DPJ/SDP/PNP/NPN/independents—unless the JCP decides to throw its votes to the DPJ-led coalition, in which case Ichiro Ozawa comes that much closer to victory. The PNP has already leveraged its marginal (in both senses) status to turn back the clock on Post Office privatization in what will be a new DPJ manifesto. If the election returns give the SDP the deciding vote, then that’s another mini-party that will extract its own pound of flesh from Mr. Ozawa.

In any case, I expect it to be close, with Taro Aso doing his best to make it a personal duel with Mr. Ozawa. Little things, like one more scandal, can easily tip the scales. I’m afraid to hazard a guess, both for and after the election.

Janne: I’m sure that the LDP and DPJ both commission private polls with detailed sampled profiles and the proper tools to process that to come up with likely support estimates for the real thing. It’s probably too expensive to throw it out into the public domain. I’m also sure that you (and Ross) have the technical skills to go into that line of business, no?