IDNAround – Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo has regained his place as the frontrunner for the 2024 presidential election after slipping to second when voters blamed him for the country’s last-minute failure to host the U-23 FIFA World Cup, according to the latest survey by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC).
The poll released over the weekend indicates that Ganjar would get 26.8 percent of the votes if the election was held today, leading Prabowo Subianto by just 1.4 percentage points.
The same survey two weeks earlier produced the opposite result amid national outrage over the world cup fiasco, in which FIFA abruptly canceled Indonesia’s rights as the host due to opposition to Israel’s participation in the tournament among local politicians.
All governors from the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) including Ganjar rejected any Israel match in their provinces.
“Our voters’ memory is often short – they can get triggered as easily as they forgive. The country offers many notable examples of how political parties, elite [members of the government] or politicians were bullied only to get reelected later,” political analyst Adi Prayitno told Antara news agency on Sunday.
Another key factor for Ganjar’s recovery from the personal setback is continued support from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, widely perceived as the kingmaker for 2024.
The relationship between Ganjar and the president was put to a major test after Jokowi’s ambition to host the first-ever FIFA tournament was dashed by his own party.
But the president showed that Ganjar remains his preferable successor during his recent visit to Central Java when the two men shared intimate moments together from the morning to the evening.
“The close relationship between Jokowi and Ganjar is a key variable, especially for Jokowi’s supporters who now see no significant division. The president’s supporter base is returning to Ganjar,” Adi said.
According to him. Ganjar could face public criticism related to the U-20 World Cup in a responsible manner, allowing him to regain public confidence when the anger was settled.
The same survey by SMRC puts former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan in third place with 16.7 percent of support, followed by West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil at 13.8 percent.
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