Ghina Ghaliya and Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo has topped the list of potential candidates for the 2024 presidential race, a recently published survey has shown, as his electability rating has surpassed that of Gerindra Party patron and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, who previously led the poll earlier this year.
The survey, conducted through phone calls from July 13 to 16, revealed that 16.2 percent of 1,200 polled respondents from across the country said they would vote for Ganjar if the election was held now, while 13.5 percent said they would vote for Prabowo.
Ganjar's electability rating increased by 7.8 percent in the July survey compared to a similar survey conducted by the pollster in February, while Prabowo's electability rating dropped by 8.5 percent.
The February survey put Prabowo – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's erstwhile rival in the 2019 presidential race – in a strong lead among the top potential candidates with an electability rating of 22.2 percent.
Trailing behind Ganjar in the July poll was Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, who secured 15 percent of the vote from respondents.
"If the presidential election was held now, Ganjar and Anies are almost on the same level. Support for both figures appears to have increased over the past two months," Indikator Politik Indonesia executive director Burhanuddin Muhtadi said on Tuesday in a virtual press conference.
However, he highlighted that the gap among Ganjar, Anies and Prabowo in the July survey could not be seen as significant given that regional leaders currently had more "electoral incentives" amid the COVID-19 pandemic as they could show off their policies on managing the crisis.
The phenomenon also explained Prabowo's electability drop, Burhanuddin said, since his position as defense minister did not give him direct control over the pandemic response.
In a recent exclusive interview with The Jakarta Post on June 26, Ganjar said he was surprised to hear that his electability rating had risen in the past few months, adding that he did not want to think about the race yet considering the current situation.
"I honestly feel uncomfortable. [It is] as if I am preparing myself for the presidential race. No, I'm not."
He said it would be up to the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) – of which he is a member – over whether it would nominate him as a candidate.
"Although the PDI-P is a democratic party, like it or not, good or bad, everything must be decided by the party's chairwoman [...] She must have calculated and observed everything that we, the members, do," Ganjar said, referring to PDI-P matriarch and former president Megawati Soekarnoputri.