Photo: Voting at the 2022 presidential election. Credit: the Blue Roof.
An in-depth survey by data scientist Jeong Han-ul 정한울 of Hankook Research 한국리서치 confirmed the commonly accepted diagnosis of the presidential election: the Moon Jae-in 문재인 administration’s real estate missteps and Lee Jae-myung 이재명’s inability to shake the Daejang-dong real estate scandal 대장동 사건 cost the election for the Democrats.
Tracking a panel of voters who supported the Democratic Party in the 2020 Assembly Election 총선, in which the liberal party won a staggering 180 out of 300 seats, Jeong found that 29% stopped supporting the party in the 2022 presidential election - 15% declined to vote, and 14% switched to other parties. In contrast, 39% of the voters who supported Yoon Suk-yeol 윤석열 and the People Power Party 국민의힘 in the presidential election were new supporters gained since the 2020 Assembly Election.
The defecting Democratic voters were mostly younger voters in their 20s and 30s and moderates, who were influenced significantly by the minor center-right candidate Ahn Cheol-su 안철수 forming a unity ticket with Yoon. (See previous coverage, “Ahn and Yoon Form a Unity Ticket.”) The former Democratic supporters also said the Moon administration’s real estate policy (see previous coverage, “The Real Estate Election”) and the Daejang-dong scandal (see previous coverage, “Daejang-dong, Revisited”) were the two most significant issues that determined their votes.