Fauzi’s approval rating too low for an easy win in July: Pollster
Incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo will likely face a run-off vote in July, with the latest survey by a pollster showing that his approval rating is now 53 percent.
According to a survey published by Indo Barometer on Wednesday, the approval rating of Fauzi currently stood at 53 percent, meaning almost half of the voters were dissatisfied with his leadership.
Indo Barometer executive director Muhammad Qadari said that a 53 percent approval rating was not safe enough to help an incumbent seeking reelection.
“In other regional elections, an incumbent usually wins a reelection with an approval rating of 70-80 percent. The safe number for an approval rating is 75 percent.”
Qadari said that candidates approval ratings in pre-election polls were usually higher than the actual percent of votes received on election day. Thus Fauzi might receive less than 50 percent of the vote on election day, leading to a run off.
Previous surveys placed Fauzi as front runner, given that as incumbent he is currently the best known candidate.
Two of his contenders are known as out-of-towners: Surakarta Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and South Sumatera Governor Alex Noerdin.
Fauzi and running mate Nachrowi Ramli remain the ticket with the highest electability rating according to Indo Barometer, earning a thumbs-up from 49.8 percent of respondents questioned in the survey.
Jokowi and running mate Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama garnered 16.4 percent, while Alex Noerdin and Nono Sampono received
5.7 percent and Hidayat Nur Wahid and Didik J. Rachbini were backed by 4.5 percent of respondents.
The survey showed that independent candidates have slim chance in the upcoming election. The University of Indonesia economist Faisal Basri Batubara and retired general Hendardji Soepandji were backed by 1.6 percent and 0.5 percent of the respondents, respectively.
The Indo Barometer survey found that support for Fauzi was not as strong as previously reported. Fauzi, himself a bureaucrat, was not popular among civil servants, including those employed by the Jakarta administration.
“Only 16.7 percent of civil servants said they would vote for Fauzi Bowo. He was beaten by another candidate, with 33 percent of civil servants intending to cast their votes to Jokowi,” Qadari said.
“One of the most important groups of voters is civil servants. This data shows that something is wrong. Fauzi’s relationship with civil servants is poor, and they are not happy with him.
“According to my experience in previous regional elections, this situation is treacherous,” he added.
Nova Riyanti Yusuf, a Democratic Party lawmaker and the head of media relations for Fauzi’s campaign team, admitted that the chance of winning was still open for all candidates and that the incumbent’s fame as governor would not automatically help him prevail as winner.
“The road to election is long and everything could happen. Things could change if one day, [Fauzi] utters a slip-up comment, for example,” she said on Wednesday.
Jokowi has been tipped as the strongest contender to challenge the incumbent.
Maruarar Sirait, a senior politician of the Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said that his party’s ticket, Jokowi and running mate Ahok, had an excellent chance of trouncing Fauzi in the upcoming election.
“Many in the middle class have an apathetic view of politics. They see hope in Jokowi for this election,” he said.
The survey, which questioned 440 respondents from May 15 to 20, also showed that the majority of respondents did not pay heed to the candidates’ ethnicity.
More than 58 percent of respondents said that the governor of Jakarta governor did not have to be of Betawi, or native Jakartan, heritage.(sat)