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Three presidential candidates emerge four months ahead of Indonesia’s 2024 Presidential Election

INDONESIA — With the registration of presidential and vice-presidential candidates (presidential tickets) for the 2024 elections approaching, the list of potential presidential candidates has narrowed down to three names: Prabowo Subianto, Ganjar Pranowo, and Anies Baswedan.

Prabowo Subianto is expected to run as a candidate from the Coalition of Great Indonesia (KKIR), which is initiated by Gerindra Party and the Nation Awakening Party.

Ganjar Pranowo, who has been declared by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) as a potential presidential candidate, has also garnered support from the United Development Party (PPP).

Anies Baswedan, on the other hand, is backed by the Coalition of Change, consisting of the National Democrat Party (NasDem), the Democratic Party, and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

Several survey institutions have released their latest survey results. Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC), through its YouTube channel SMRC TV, shows that Prabowo Subianto has the support of only 59 per cent of strong voters. This figure lags behind the other potential presidential candidates, with Anies Baswedan at 61 per cent and Ganjar Pranowo at 73 per cent.

Saiful Mujani explains that these findings are logical when considering the aspect of party support. Gerindra, the party supporting Prabowo, is the third-largest party in parliament, smaller than the PDIP.

Prabowo Subianto, the Chairman of Gerindra Party

“Prabowo’s supporters generally come from other parties. They are newcomers to supporting Prabowo, so it’s logical that their choices are not yet firm,” said Saiful on Thursday (13 Jul).

He further adds that they will wait for developments to determine whether they will feel more comfortable supporting Prabowo or not.

Similarly, Anies has not yet become a member of a specific party and does not have a clear party preference.

Saiful explains that parties, in several aspects, serve as anchors to bind the choices of voters to political parties. In other words, the position of a party can bridge the gap between voters and presidential candidates.

Ganjar Pranowo, the Governor of Central Java, the presidential candidate from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.

“Ganjar has long been associated with the PDIP because he is a PDIP cadre. Therefore, if PDIP voters are more solidly behind Ganjar, it is logical. Moreover, the number of PDIP voters is larger and more significant than other parties,” added Saiful.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) released its latest survey results on Tuesday, regarding the electability of potential presidential candidates for the 2024 elections.

“This survey calculates the electability if the presidential election is contested by the three aforementioned candidates. Prabowo Subianto’s electability is 35.8 percent, Ganjar Pranowo’s is 32.2 percent, and Anies Baswedan’s is 21.4 percent. Approximately 10.6 percent have not yet decided,” said Djayadi Hanan, Executive Director of LSI.

Based on the survey conducted by Lingkar Survei Indonesia (LSI) Denny JA and released on Monday, the electability of Gerindra Party Chairman Prabowo Subianto is 34.3 percent, surpassing Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo at 32.7 percent and former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan at 22.1 percent.

“The remaining 10.9 percent have not decided or are keeping it secret,” says Hanggoro Doso Pamungkas, Director of LSI Denny JA.

Furthermore, Hanggoro explains the electability trends of the three potential presidential candidates based on survey data from January 2023, May 2023, and the latest from June 2023.

The electability of Prabowo Subianto is increasing, while Ganjar Pranowo’s electability fluctuates. As for Anies Baswedan, his electability appears stagnant and even tends to decrease.

Regarding Anies’s electability, Bawono Kumoro, a researcher from Indikator Politik (Political Indicator), states that the voter bases of Anies and Prabowo tend to intersect, and Anies initially managed to attract some of Prabowo’s supporters.

However, the situation has changed, and Prabowo is said to have successfully brought back his disappointed supporters.

Anies Baswedan, the former Governor of Jakarta, a presidential cadidate backed by the Coalition of Change (Koalisi Perubahan)

Anies’s initial support came from voters dissatisfied with Jokowi’s performance or disappointed with Prabowo’s decision to join Jokowi’s cabinet as the Minister of Defense after losing in the 2019 presidential election. This initially boosted Anies’s electability in November 2022.

Both Anies and Prabowo have a popular track record among Muslim voters. However, based on surveys conducted throughout 2023, Anies’s initial support from the Muslim voter base is “insufficient” to secure his electability.

Deni Irvani, the research director of SMRC, states that another survey conducted by SMRC indicates that Anies’s ideological position does not align with the ideology of the general voters.

“According to our study, Indonesian voters tend to be moderate nationalists on the ideological spectrum. Anies, however, is perceived as leaning more towards the right, which differs from voters’ perception of Ganjar and Prabowo, who are seen as closer to nationalism,” Deni explained.

Furthermore, Bawono explains that Anies’s strategy as a presidential candidate advocating for “change” and being an antithesis to Jokowi has not been able to attract more voters due to the high level of public satisfaction with the Jokowi administration.

Surveys from Indikator Politik show that public satisfaction with Jokowi has reached 79.2%, the highest rating throughout his presidency. SMRC’s survey also indicates a public satisfaction rate of 81.7%. Therefore, the potential pool of voters dissatisfied with Jokowi is relatively small.

Deni Irvani from SMRC adds that this situation is in contrast to the camps of Ganjar Pranowo and Prabowo Subianto, who “benefit from the increased public satisfaction with Jokowi.”

Anies has also failed to strengthen his voter base among former Prabowo supporters. “Instead of Anies strengthening support from Prabowo’s voter base, Prabowo has successfully won back his disappointed voters,” says Bawono.

According to him, this is the result of the hard work of Gerindra Party members in promoting Prabowo at the grassroots level. Deni Irvani from SMRC agrees with this assessment.

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