Carlos Paath, Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo enjoys a strong polling lead against his main potential rivals for the 2024 presidential election despite the uncertainty that he will be nominated by the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), according to a survey released on Sunday.
Ganjar was voted by 32.1 percent of respondents while Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan were almost tied at 27.5 percent and 26 percent, respectively, according to the survey by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC).
Prabowo has publicly announced his bid for the country's top post after his Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) established a coalition with the National Awakening Party (PKB) to secure a ticket for the presidential election.
Earlier this month, Anies was officially announced as a presidential nominee by the National Democratic Party (Nasdem), which still needs to build a coalition with at least two other political parties to meet the threshold of 20 percent of House of Representatives seats.
"Under a three-name simulation, Ganjar received 32.1 percent of the votes, Prabowo 27.5 percent, and Anies 26 percent. There is 14.4 percent of respondents who remain undecided," SMRC research director Deni Irvani said.
Ganjar's popularity has been skyrocketing since May of last year when the PDI-P politician received 25.5 percent of votes in a survey by the same pollster.
On the other hand, the support for Prabowo, the defeated contender in the last two presidential elections, kept plummeting from 34.1 percent in the period, allowing Anies to catch up, Deni said.
The huge parliament threshold for a party or a coalition of parties to get their candidates on the ballot means that the next presidential election will very likely involve three candidates at the most, he added.
"Therefore it's very important to pay attention to the three most competitive names: Anies, Ganjar, and Prabowo," Deni said.
The survey was conducted on October 3-9 involving 1,220 respondents of eligible voters across the country. The survey has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points up and down.
The PDI-P, which has 22 percent of House seats, is the only party with the luxury of being able to nominate a candidate on its own.
But the party remains silent about its pick for the presidential race with Chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri's daughter Puan Maharani, currently the House speaker, aggressively campaigning in the media social to boost her popularity.
It's also unmoved by the latest poll indicating a good chance for Ganjar to continue PDI-P's control of the presidential office for a third consecutive term.
"Please be patient. We should not be influenced by political noise and the dynamic that follows," PDI-P Secretary-General Hasto Kristiyanto said.