Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo is slightly ahead of Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto in the latest presidential survey that indicates a potential three-horse race in the 2024 election.
The survey conducted by respected pollster Charta Politika shows Ganjar with 16.2 percent of the vote and Prabowo with 14.8 percent of the vote.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan is trailing Prabowo by just 0.2 percentage point, according to the poll results published on Thursday.
"It's getting clear that the main stage accommodates only three highest-rated figures: Ganjar, Prabowo and Anies," Charta Politika Executive Director Yunarto Wijaya said in a video conference.
Prabowo, the chairman the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), has participated in the last two presidential elections and lost both to Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
The pollster said the survey was carried out on July 12-20 involving 1,200 respondents countrywide and had a margin of error of 2.8 percent.
When voters were provided with the top ten of presidential hopefuls, Ganjar retains his lead with a bigger margin, while Anies overtakes Prabowo, the pollster said.
Under this scenario, the survey puts Ganjar at 20.6 percent of the vote, Anies gets 17.8 percent and Prabowo gets 17.5 percent.
Yunarto said he was convinced about having Ganjar on the top of the list, while Prabowo and Anies are still in statistical-tie territory.
"I'm accountable to the data putting Ganjar on the number one place, but the statistics on Anies and Prabowo remain within margin of error," Yunarto added.
Seven other names are unable to reach 10 percent of the vote.
They include Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno – Prabowo's running mate in the last election – who gets 7.7 percent of the vote, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil (7.2 percent), Democratic Party Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (4.2 percent), Social Affairs Minister Tri Rismaharini (3.6 percent), State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir (1.8 percent), House Speaker Puan Maharani (1.4 percent) and Chief Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto (1 percent).
When the choices were narrowed further into five names, Ganjar leads with 23.3 percent of the vote, followed by Anies (19.8 percent), Prabowo (19.6 percent), Sandiaga (8.4 percent) and Ridwan (8.2 percent). Another 20.7 percent of voters declined to vote for either candidate.
Ganjar has a solid supporter base inside the PDI-P, with 44.7 percent of the vote among the party's constituents, according to Charta Politika.
In this regard, he is superior to fellow party executive Risma who gets 7.7 percent and even Puan – the daughter of PDI-P Chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri – who gets a mere 4.8 percent.
He is also the most popular choice for voters in Central Java, neighboring Yogyakarta, East Java, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara.
Anies is the preferable candidate among voters in Jakarta, Banten and most provinces on Sumatra Island.
Prabowo's main supporter base remains West Java, the country's biggest province by population.
Java Island and Bali are home to around 60 percent of the national population.
Ganjar was also rated the top in two previous public opinion polls by different pollsters last month.
By comparison, a survey by national newspaper Kompas published in May put Ganjar at third behind Prabowo and Anies with a massive 11.2-percentage point gap from the top.
Since 2004, Indonesian presidents have been elected by popular votes with a run-off if no candidate wins a simple majority in the first round.