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.