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Aa Gym’s electability below Ridwan Kamil despite greater popularity: Survey

  • Safrin La Batu
    Safrin La Batu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, November 2, 2017 | 09:07 pm
Aa Gym’s electability below Ridwan Kamil despite greater popularity: Survey Top rank: Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil, a prospective candidate for West Java governor in next year's election, explains his programs during a dialogue with media and members of the creative community at Code Margonda, Depok, West Java, on Oct.7. (Antara/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

Owing to his immense popularity in West Java, popular Islamic preacher Abdullah Gymnastiar, affectionately known as Aa Gym, is expected by his fans to run in next year's gubernatorial election.

However, being a popular public figure alone is not enough to run for public office. A study released on Thursday by Jakarta-based pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) showed that even though he had become a popular prospective candidate, Aa Gym’s electability rating lagged behind several known politicians.

Held from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3, the SMRC study found that Aa Gym would be favored by only 1.5 percent of 820 respondents if the election was held today. The famous ulema ranked fourth, following closely behind Purwakarta Regent Dedi Mulyadi who ranked third with 2.2 percent.

(Read also: Jokowi’s electability soars in West Java: survey)

Meanwhile, West Java Deputy Governor Dedy Mizwar ranked second with the backing of 3.8 percent of respondents. Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil remains in the lead with 16.8 percent of respondents saying they would vote for him.

The survey also revealed that undecided voters accounted for 70.5 percent of respondents, providing ample opportunities for candidates to attract voters.

SMRC executive director Djayadi Hanan said it was hard for Aa Gym to increase his electability because his popularity rating was already at the maximum level.

“Ninety five percent [of voters] already know Aa Gym,” Djayadi said.

Meanwhile, Ridwan, whose popularity remains at 77 percent, could increase his electability by increasing his popularity, according to Djayadi. (ebf)

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