54.1% to 33.9%: Jokowi widens lead over Prabowo according to new survey by Alvara Research Center

President Joko Widodo (R) and former general Prabowo Subianto (L) speak to journalists after their meeting at Prabowo’s compound in Jakarta on October 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Bay ISMOYO

It’s only Tuesday but it’s already shaping up to be another pretty bad week for presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto. After facing a barrage of criticism and protests from the people of Boyolali over a joke he made, another new poll indicates that the Gerindra chairman is not only failing to gain ground on President Joko Widodo but is actually losing more potential voters.

The Alvara Research Center released the results of their latest survey conducted from October 8-22 (so before the Boyolali controversy broke but after the embarrassing reveal of the hoax perpetrated by former Prabowo campaign leader Ratna Sarumpaet) and it puts President Jokowi and his running mate Ma’ruf Amin at 54.1% compared to 33.9% for Prabowo and his running mate Sandiaga Uno with 12% undecided.

The poll involved 1,781 respondents in 33 provinces throughout Indonesia, although Alvara noted they did not conduct the survey in Central Sulawesi due to the tsunami and earthquake that had completely devastated the region at that time.

In the last poll conducted by Alvara from August 12-18, Jokowi-Ma’ruf received 53.63% while Prabowo-Sandiaga were picked by 35.2%, equaling an increased lead of 1.77% for the incumbent

While that small uptick still lies with the poll’s 2.37% margin of error, at best it indicates that voter sentiment didn’t shift at all between mid-August and mid-October.

With the presidential election coming up in April, Prabowo doesn’t have a lot of time to cut down on Jokowi’s current massive lead, which has been consistently shown to be about around or over 20 points ahead of Prabowo across a number of polls by a number of survey groups.  

And with scandals such as the controversy over his Boyolali joke last week seemingly showing a lack of strong communication and coordination by his campaign, Prabowo is going to need to make a lot of savvy moves as well as get some lucky breaks soon if he is to have any hope of not losing to Jokowi for a second time.

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