TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te and his running mate, Hsiao Bi-khim, may be faced with the challenge of garnering more support as the election nears.
The Taiwan Public Opinion Research Center (TPOC) has revealed intriguing trends in public interest across various candidates for Taiwan's leadership following announcements of their running mates.
Utilizing data from the QuickseeK sentiment analysis database, TPOC captured online buzz from Nov. 10 to Nov. 27 and detected significant spikes following these candidate unveilings.
When DPP's Lai declared Hsiao as his vice-presidential partner on Nov. 20, the internet erupted to approximately 45,000 mentions, but that enthusiasm waned within a week, falling to 27,000 mentions.
Compared to the previous records, the searches for '"Lai-Ching-te paired with" averaged a lower 33,000 since the announcement.
In contrast, 'Hou-Kang' pairing with Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih shot up to an impressive 131,000 mentions on Nov. 24 after he announced Jaw Shaw-kong as his vice-presidential choice.
The pair maintained strong engagement in the following days with over 90,000 and 60,000 mentions respectively, leading to an average of 86,000 daily comments. Even more strikingly, the Taiwan People's Party (TPP) candidates Ko Wen-je and Cynthia Wu, ("Ko-Wu" team) outpaced the others, as Wu's nominating day sparked over 140,000 mentions, stabilizing at over 80,000 in the subsequent days and achieving the highest average mentions of 97,000 since her candidacy was declared.
The surges were notable. Hou's announcement led to a 259% rise in mentions while Lai's announcement saw a 90% increase, comparatively less robust.
Within supporter discussions, the highest engagement topics included Lai's slogan, "Choose the right person, walk the right path," and welcoming phrases for Hsiao back to her political 'home', though they did little to broaden the appeal of 'Lai-Hsiao' outside their supporter base, failing to captivate the key middle ground and young voter segments significantly.