Taiwan President Tsai ranked most likeable ahead of Han, Ko, Trump, Xi

Taiwan President Tsai scores highest on 'feeling thermometer' above Han, Ko, Trump, Xi

Tsai at press conference.

Tsai at press conference. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- In the results of an opinion poll released on Saturday (Aug. 24), President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was voted the most likeable, ahead of itinerant Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), U.S. President Donald Trump, and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

In the latest poll by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF, 台灣民意基金會) released on Saturday, Tsai scored a 54.91 on the survey's "feeling thermometer," followed by Ko at 51.77, Trump at 50.42, Han at 40.56, and Xi in last place at a mere 36.22 out of 100. Tsai's likeability rating has fluctuated from a high of 69.08 percent in May of 2016 to a low of 42.98 in December 2018.

Han has seen a precipitous drop from a likeability level of 62.12 in December 2018, to an all-time low of 40.56 in August of this year. Ko has experienced a steady decline from a peak of 66.75 in September 2017, to a new all-time low of 51.77 in August of this year.

On Sunday (Aug. 25), Michael You (游盈隆), chairman of the TPOF, took to Facebook to write that when it comes to the "feeling thermometer" of the Taiwanese people toward Trump and Xi, far more Taiwanese like Trump. You said that this reflects to some extent the positive sentiment Taiwanese feel toward the U.S. and animosity toward China at this stage.

TPOF chart showing Tsai with the highest likeability rating.

As for the 2020 election, You said that in a three-way race among Tsai, Han, and Ko, Tsai has a large lead at 41.3 percent, with Han trailing at 28.7 percent, and Ko pulling up the rear at 22.6 percent. In a two-way race between Tsai and Han, Tsai has an even more commanding lead of 52.1 percent to Han's 34.7 percent, according to the survey.

The poll also found that at 30.2 percent, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has a slight lead over the Kuomintang's (KMT's) 29.6 percent level of support. Meanwhile, the New Power Party is rapidly losing support, with only 6.7 percent still backing it, while the Taiwan People Party (TPP) has pulled ahead to gain the support of 8.1 percent of respondents.

The survey was carried out via telephone on Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 19 and 20). The poll gathered 1,085 valid samples and had a margin of error of 2.98 percentage points.

TPOF chart showing Tsai ahead of Han and Ko in three-way race.