Taiwan’s ruling party, at odds with much of the public for strengthening relations with old rival China, faced opinion polls last month saying its 2016 presidential candidate lagged the opposition’s by about 20 percentage points. Then a minor party candidate who also favors closer China ties — a trend that set off mass protests last year — jumped into the race Aug. 6. Polls tip him to win up to 15% of the votes, and election experts say much of those will be taken from the Nationalists.
“It would seem that (minor party) candidacy will hurt Hung much more than it will hurt Tsai in a situation where Tsai so far is doing very well according to almost all polls,” says Alan Romberg, East Asia Program director with Washington think tank the Stimson Institute.
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