Older Koreans are expected to play a decisive role in electing the next president as most young people seem to have rallied behind a liberal contender.
While the traditional regional bias has disappeared from this race since both frontrunners come from the same part of the country, older people seem to lean toward Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party.
Ahn is also on the liberal side of the spectrum but seems to be more palatable to people over 50 and more centrist in his views.
The question is how much turnout he can mobilize among them to counter the strong support his rival, Moon Jae-in of the Minjoo Party, enjoys among people in their 20s and 30s, who have been galvanized by the impeachment of ex-President Park Geun-hye.
In previous elections, high turnout among older people was almost a given, which led to two successive conservative administrations. The key variable was that the progressive candidates failed to inspire younger voters.
But this time, turnout among young people is expected to reach record levels, while the conservative candidates stand battered and bruised after Park's disastrous performance in office, and it is unclear whether Ahn can inspire them to leave the house on May 9.
The National Election Commission turned to World Research to survey voter preferences last week and found that more than 80 percent in all age groups planned to cast their ballots this time.
In the same survey during the 2012 presidential election, expected turnout among younger voters hovered around 70 percent but rose to 82.8 percent among voters in their 50s and to a whopping 91.5 percent among over-60s.
But now younger voters are more enthusiastic, while zeal among the over-60s has waned.
Kim Hyung-joon at Myongji University said, "The resolve among voters in their 20s and 30s to cast their ballots has grown stronger due to high unemployment and other disadvantages they face, while willingness to vote among older people has weakened since the impeachment, but there is still a chance that they will rally behind Moon's opponent."
Moon Jae-in of the Minjoo Party speaks at an election rally at Chonbuk National University in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province on Tuesday.
Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party speaks at an election rally in Daegu on Tuesday