The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a telephone-based survey of Liberal Democratic Party rank-and-file members to probe their views on the LDP itself. Asked which LDP president they viewed most highly, some 24% said Shinzo Abe, giving him the highest score. Next were Junichiro Koizumi and Kakuei Tanaka, both at 18%.
The survey was conducted in all 47 prefectures on Jan. 12–14, and responses were received from 1,196 people confirmed to be rank-and-file party members. The current prime minister, who has been in office for many years, enjoys solid support. Party members also viewed positively Koizumi, who promoted “structural reforms leaving no ‘sacred cow’ areas exempt,” and Tanaka, who focused on developing regional areas.
The same question was asked of general voters in the Yomiuri monthly nationwide public opinion poll, which was conducted at the same time (responses received from 1,028 people). Some 27% of general voters said they viewed Koizumi most highly, giving him the top ranking, followed by Abe at 14% and Tanaka at 11%. The top five LDP presidents were the same as those named in the poll of LDP rank-and-file party members, meaning that there was no large difference between the results of the two polls.
Asked if they belong to a supporters’ group for a Diet member or a local assembly member, some 64% of LDP rank-and-file members said “yes,” while only 6% of those in the public opinion poll gave that answer. This suggests that many join the LDP via supporters’ groups.