The KMT finished accepting applications for its mayoral nominations on April 3, and it will hold telephone surveys on April 14. These surveys are not decisive; the KMT can choose to ignore the results or nominate someone else entirely.
In Xinbei City, only Zhu Lilun 朱立倫 filed for the nomination, so there will be no survey. Technically, the party could still draft someone else, but they won’t. The contestants in the other cities are as follows:
Taipei City: Hao Longbin 郝龍斌 (incumbent mayor), Yang Shiqiu 楊實秋 (city council).
Taichung City: Jason Hu 胡志強 (incumbent Taichung City mayor, former foreign minister), Liu Quanzhong 劉銓忠 (legislator, brother of former speaker, Taichung County Red faction), Ji Guodong 紀國棟 (legislator, Taichung County Black faction).
Tainan City: Guo Tiancai 郭添財 (former legislator), Li Quanjiao 李全教 (former legislator), Xie Longjie 謝龍介 (Tainan City council). Both Guo and Li are based in Tainan County.
Kaohsiung City: Huang Zhaoshun 黃昭順 (legislator), Hou Caifeng 侯彩鳳 (legislator), Zhang Xianyao 張顯耀 (legislator), Su Yinggui 蘇盈貴 (former Taipei City Labor Affairs Bureau Chief), Lai Fengwei 賴峰偉 (deputy secretary general of presidential office, former Penghu County executive), Lin Yishi 林益世 (legislator, Kaohsiung County Red faction). The first five are based in Kaohsiung City, and Lin Yishi is from Kaohsiung County.
In Taipei City, Hao will win easily and Yang will end his quixotic campaign and turn his focus back to retaining his city council seat. This was probably his purpose anyway. By spending his money now, he doesn’t have to compete for attention with a dozen other candidates.
I have no idea who will “win” in Tainan City. They all look weak to me. The prize is the right to get slaughtered in November. I’m not sure any of these three can manage 35%, much less a majority.
In Taichung, one possibility is that Liu and Ji will drop out before they get to the polling stage. I think what they are doing is negotiating the best deal possible for their respective factions. They don’t have a lot of leverage right now because there is no way either can win the telephone survey segment. However, an independent campaign by one of them that splits the KMT vote is the most realistic scenario for a KMT loss in this race, so look for the KMT to buy them off. I expect this to happen earlier rather than later.
In Kaohsiung, the two stage polling plan seems to have disappeared. Five of the six candidates are from Kaohsiung City, so it would be rather awkward to have a Kaohsiung City poll to determine who would meet the Kaohsiung County winner. However, they do seem concerned that six candidates is too many. They might try to convince someone to withdraw, or they might only take the polls as advisory. If I were them, I’d eliminate three or four candidates, perhaps with a first round of polling, and then use a survey to figure out who the strongest finalist is. I still think Lin Yishi is the best of the field. But they don’t ask me.