The Jakarta Post
A new survey conducted by the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) found that Jakarta Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo remained the most popular presidential candidate despite the intensified political attacks against him since the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) nominated him as its presidential candidate.
The CSIS survey, conducted between March 7 and March 17, found that Jokowi would garner 31.8 percent of the vote if an election were to take place today, leading more experienced politicians such as Gerindra Party chief patron Prabowo Subianto, who came in second place with 14.3 percent ahead of Wiranto of the Hanura Party with 10.3 percent.
The survey included 1,200 respondents from across the country.
The public opinion poll, also predicted that Jokowi, a former mayor of Surakarta, would garner 54.3 percent of the vote in a two-horse race against Prabowo, who is expected to get 28.3 percent of the vote.
The popularity of Jokowi has also rubbed off on the PDI-P, which according to CSIS' study, would come on top, with 20.1 percent of the vote, if a legislative election were held today.
'The Jokowi effect has obviously benefited the PDI-P and the party will likely pass the 25 percent presidential threshold,' head of CSIS Department of Politics and International Relations, Philips J. Vermonte said.
Philips, however, warned the PDI-P not to be complacent.
'However, according to our survey, there is still doubt among voters regarding their choices, and so it would be premature for PDI-P go on a victory lap. The competition among the different parties and their candidates is still very tight; and the voters' choices could still change,' Philips said.
The survey also predicted that the PDI-P could go it alone in the 2014 presidential election.
It found that 40.8 percent of respondents would vote for PDI-P if Jokowi runs on the same ticket as Prananda Prabowo, Megawati's son; and 41 percent if Jokowi would be on the same ticket as Puan Maharani.
The survey also showed that Jokowi would get 46.7 percent of the vote if he picked former vice president Jusuf Kalla as his running mate.
'The study showed that Jokowi would basically win the presidential election regardless of whoever his running mate would be. It is now important for PDI-P to find the right figure to be Jokowi's vice presidential candidate, someone who can make up for Jokowi's lack of experience [in running a country],' CSIS senior analyst J. Kristiadi said.
The CSIS survey also found that the Golkar Party would come in second place with 15.8 percent of the vote while Gerindra would finish third with 11.3 percent.
CSIS' last public opinion survey conducted in December last year, showed that if a presidential election had taken place then, Jokowi would have garnered three times more votes than Prabowo.
In CSIS' poll, Jokowi 34.7 percent of respondents voted for Jokowi, while only 10.7 percent voted for Prabowo.
The survey also showed that 29.9 percent of respondents would vote for the PDI-P if the party nominated Jokowi for the 2014 presidential election. (fss)