Jokowi's Lead Narrows in Indonesian Election as Voting Nears

(Bloomberg) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s lead over his challenger Prabowo Subianto narrowed as campaigning for next month’s election gathered momentum, according to a pre-poll survey.

Widodo, also known as Jokowi, and his running mate Ma’ruf Amin would secure 53.6 percent of votes, little changed from 53.2 percent in a January survey, pollster Charta Politika said in Jakarta on Monday. Subianto, popularly known as Prabowo, and Sandiaga Uno would poll 35.4 percent, up from 34.1 percent, the agency said.

The latest survey confirms trends in recent polls showing Prabowo narrowing the gap with the incumbent in a rematch of the bitterly fought 2014 election. The candidates are wooing voters with pledges to create more jobs, stable prices and higher economic growth in the world’s fourth-most populous country. Jokowi still continues to lead the former Suharto-era general by double digit margins in most surveys.

Snapshot of pre-poll surveys

Roy Morgan58%42%16%
Indikator Politik54.9%34.8%20.1%
Charta Politika53.6%35.4%18.2%

If the trends of the March 1-9 survey continue, Jokowi will garner 60.2 percent of the national vote and Prabowo will secure 39.8 percent, Charta Politika said. The incumbent’s approval rating was unmoved at 65.9 percent in the latest survey, compared with 65.8 percent in January, it said. The survey of 2,000 respondents has a margin of error of 2.19 percent.

In the simultaneous parliamentary elections, Jokowi’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle is set to secure most votes, followed by Prabowo’s Gerindra and Golkar, the survey showed.

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