A new survey on potential candidates for the 2014 presidential election has once again affirmed Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo’s strategic position over Great Indonesia Movement Party founder Prabowo Subianto as the candidate most eligible and electable among the public.
In a survey by the Alvara Research Center, conducted throughout July and August, Joko earned 24.8 percent in eligibility and 22.1 percent in electability, while Prabowo had 18.8 percent in eligibility and 17 percent in electability. Respondents were allowed to choose more than one candidate per question.
Other candidates included in the survey earned less than 10 percent.
“The 2014 presidential election will see Prabowo and Joko Widodo go head-to-head. Other figures will have a very small chance as they have become figures of the past,” Alvara chief Hasanuddin Ali said.
According to him, other politicians such as Golkar Party chairman and presidential candidate Aburizal Bakrie, Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairman and former president of Indonesia Megawati Soekarnoputri and National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa acted merely as fillers in the race.
Despite being most electable and eligible, Joko’s popularity remained overshadowed by other senior politicians, only ranking fifth on the list with 70.5 percent. Prabowo was the most popular among general voters with 92.4 percent.
“To go against Joko, Prabowo will have to pair up with somebody like Joko, such as [State Enterprises Minister] Dahlan Iskan, [former Constitutional Court Chief Judge] Mahfud MD or [former Vice President] Jusuf Kalla,” Hasanuddin said.
Meanwhile, in the same survey, Golkar’s presidential candidate Aburizal Bakrie has emerged as the most popular among middle class voters, which Hasanuddin said plays an important role in the 2014 elections due to their ability to influence other voters from both the upper class and lower class.
“They are the most rational,” he said, adding that the middle class had also dominated several regional elections in recent years.
A mong this group, Aburizal earned 69 percent in eligibility, although in the overall class of voters he came one step behind Prabowo.
Despite his popularity, Hasanuddin doubted Aburizal’s chances in winning the presidential race, as he earned merely 6.3 percent and 6.2 percent in electability and eligibility as president, respectively.
“He is popular, but he isn’t seen as fitting to be president,” Hasanuddin said.
He added that Aburizal seems to have been categorized as an icon from an older political era and that he did not have the character sought in a leader.
The survey was conducted via random face-to-face interview with 1,532 respondents aged 20 to 54 years old in six big cities, namely Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Makassar, Bandung and Semarang.