A poll released by Kompas on Wednesday shows that Gerindra Party chairman and presidential challenger Prabowo Subianto has managed to narrow the electoral gap between him and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo during the six-month campaign period.
The survey, which polled 2,000 respondents across 34 provinces between the end of February and the beginning of March, found that the Jokowi-Ma’ruf Amin ticket’s electability had fell to 49.2 percent from 52.6 percent in October last year, while the Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno ticket had gone up to 37.4 percent from 32.7 percent in the same period.
Nevertheless, the President maintains a double digit lead of 11.8 percentage points, and according to Kompas’ extrapolation, Jokowi and Ma’ruf remain on course to win next month’s election with 56.8 percent of the vote compared to Prabowo’s 43.2 percent.
The poll, however, is unique in that it showed a drop in Jokowi’s electability. Most other polls have shown the Jokowi-Ma’ruf ticket as being on an upward trend.
Kompas said the drop could be caused by a number of factors, including a decrease in government approval ratings and a loss of favor in several key demographics.
The poll found that Jokowi’s support among people aged 53 to 71 had decreased to 48.9 percent from 58.1 percent, while support from 31- to 40-year-olds had also decreased by 9.1 percentage points.
The number of undecideds have also risen among lower-class voters, who are considered to be some of Jokowi’s strongest supporters.
Prabowo’s supporters were also deemed to be more “militant”: 40.8 percent of Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno voters said they regularly spread positive information about their chosen ticket compared to only 35.5 percent of Jokowi-Ma’ruf voters.
Prabowo-Sandiaga campaign team members were quick to take to social media to boast about the poll.
“With surveys like this no wonder the other side is panicking,” Prabowo-Sandi campaign spokesman Dahnil Simanjuntak tweeted. “Volunteer friends, keep spreading positive campaigning. Guard the polling stations to the district level and beyond. The wave of change cannot be stopped.”
“The Kompas survey is a signal that, God-willing, Pak Prabowo and Bang Sandiaga will win on April 17,” Gerindra politician Andre Rosiade said. “The other side is panicking.”
“In the Kompas survey, it’s true that Prabowo and Sandiage are not yet on top. But the gap is continuing to narrow in the lead-up to the election,” Democratic Party secretary-general Hinca Panjaitan said. “Once again, we are still optimistic that Prabowo-Sandi will win!”
Meanwhile, the Jokowi-Ma’ruf campaign insisted that poll only confirmed that the President would win big.
“The Kompas survey results make us even more convinced that the [Jokowi-Ma’ruf] is leaving them [Prabowo-Sandiaga] further behind,” Jokowi campaign team spokesperson Meutya Hafid said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We are confident that this electability rate will continue to rocket with the completion of several government projects and programs such as the MRT,” she added. “This is not just rhetoric but real results that we can all see and benefit from.” (swd)
Karina M. Tehusijarana