INDONESIA: Former Chairman of the Golkar Party, Jusuf Kalla (JK), has responded to recent survey results that indicate Anies Baswedan’s electability as a presidential candidate from the Change for Unity Coalition (KPP) ranks lower compared to other potential candidates.
JK emphasized that survey results do not always reflect the actual outcome of the 2024 Presidential Election (Pilpres), but merely depict the evolving dynamics of the political landscape.
According to the latest polls, Anies Baswedan leads in electability with 20.8 percent, according to Polmatrix Indonesia, and 13.1 percent, according to Litbang Kompas.
However, his electability has seen a decline, dropping by 3.4 percent compared to the previous survey conducted by Litbang Kompas in October 2022.
Indikator’s simulation survey showed a consecutive decline in Anies’s electability, reaching 18.9 percent at the end of May 2023 from 29.4 percent in July 2022.
In response, Jusuf Kalla drew a parallel between Anies Baswedan’s current situation and former US President Donald Trump’s candidacy in the 2016 US Presidential Election.
“Trump’s electability was also very low, according to researchers, but Trump was elected. Many things were like that in the past,” said Jusuf at the parliament complex, Senayan, Jakarta, on Monday, July 31, 2023.” Kalla highlighted that Trump’s electability was also quite low according to pollsters, but he managed to win the election.
He also reminds us that during the Jakarta Gubernatorial Election in 2017, Anies was initially in the third position but eventually emerged as the winner. “Back in Jakarta, Anies was also at the lowest position, in third place, but later he was elected. It’s a smaller scale, with approximately seven million voters represented by 1,200 respondents. Moreover, these 1,200 respondents were surveyed among a total of 205 million voters,” he stated.
Previously, on last Friday (27 Jul), a survey by Utting Research Australia placed Anies Baswedan in the third position with 27 percent of the vote, compared to Ganjar Pranowo with 34 percent and Prabowo Subianto with 33 percent.
The Utting Research survey was conducted face-to-face from June 12th to June 17th, 2023, with a sample size of 1,200 respondents distributed proportionally across 34 provinces in Indonesia. The survey employed a multistage random sampling method, with a margin of error of 2.8 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
However, Anies himself expressed confidence and was not concerned about consistently ranking third in various survey institutions. He asserted that the most crucial aspect is not the current survey results but rather the victory in the 2024 Presidential Election.
Anies emphasized the importance of continuously communicating the various programs that he plans to implement once elected as the President. He also refrained from disclosing the progress of forming his campaign team, stating that he wants to focus on completing his current responsibilities before making any public announcements.
Political Communication Expert from Esa Unggul University, Jamiluddin Ritonga, supported Jusuf Kalla’s views, highlighting that survey results are not always reliable as they often diverge from the actual election outcomes.
He mentioned that public opinion is dynamic and subject to change based on the prevailing issues and perception of the subject being assessed. The formulation and sampling errors in surveys were also noted, as they can affect the accuracy of the results.
Jamiluddin argued that the low number of respondents in surveys, usually around 1,200, is not a representative sample considering Indonesia’s population of over 205 million voters.
He also warned against the influence of ‘by order’ surveys, where institutions are commissioned to manipulate the results in favor of certain candidates or sponsors.
As the 2024 Presidential Election draws nearer, the debate on survey accuracy and its relevance will continue to be a prominent subject.
While Anies Baswedan remains optimistic about his prospects, experts, and politicians stress that surveys should not be the sole determinant of election results, urging candidates to focus on delivering their plans and visions to the public instead.