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Moon surges ahead in South Korean presidential race

Main rival Ahn bleeds conservative support after debate fiasco

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Moon Jae In, left, and Ahn Cheol Soo   © Kyodo

SEOUL -- Front-runner Moon Jae-in is widening his lead over rival Ahn Cheol-soo as South Korea heads into the final week of its presidential election race, with conservative voters drifting away from centrist Ahn following a lackluster debate performance.

Moon of the liberal Democratic Party of Korea drew 42.6% support, even after a 1.8 percentage point drop, in a Realmeter poll published Sunday. Ahn of the centrist People's Party saw his support fall 1.9 points to 20.9% and trails Moon by more than 10 points in other polls as well.

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