Candidate Debate, Voter Behavior and Electability

After the first candidate debate, on 13 January 2017, at least 2 (two) important notes emerged. First, the substance of the debate itself which left a number of notes and evaluations. Although in general the event which was held by the DKI Jakarta KPUD was positively appreciated by many parties. Second, it relates to how does the influence of candidate debates on voter behavior?!.

The Populi Center discussed this in the Jakarta Perspective program, through a public discussion on January 26, 2017 at the Jakarta KPUD media center, carrying the theme "Candidate Debate, Voter Behavior and Electability". The discussion, which was attended by many media, featured 3 (three) resource persons; Dahlia Umar (Commissioner of KPUD DKI Jakarta), Yayat Supriatna (Urban Observer / First Debate Panelist) and Usep S. Ahyar (Director of Populi Center)

At the beginning of her presentation, Dahlia Umar explained that although the first debate went well, she admitted that there were several evaluations including suggestions from various community groups, including: The issue of duration which was deemed insufficient (90 minutes). In the second debate, it will be added to 120 minutes excluding commercial advertisements. In addition, in the first debate there were still many issues presented by the candidates that had not been fully explored. Dealing with this problem, Dahlia added that in the second debate, the moderator will be given the freedom to explore issues that the candidate feels have not optimally answered.

In the second debate, the format will be almost the same. It is hoped that the addition of 2 (two) Moderators namely Imam Prasodjo and Tina Talisa can collaborate to guide the debate better.

Next, Yayat Supriatna explained some important notes for the evaluation of the second debate later. First, he regretted that the candidates took dissimilar data sources so that what appeared to the surface seemed as if what was important was different and blamed other parties. According to him, data is not only about numbers but also talks about strategies for achieving these targets. Unfortunately not all candidates understand this well. When asked which candidate understands the issues and strategies the most in the first debate? Yayat explained diplomatically that each candidate should understand well the vision, mission and programs of other candidates. So what will emerge is how he does not only criticize other candidates but more substantively convinces the public that his program is better than the others. At the end of the delivery Yayat reminded that the program carried out by each candidate was a "debt" that would be accounted for when he was elected. For this reason, he hopes that the programs offered are realistic. "Every candidate should have a realistic program vision and mission orientated towards a structure that builds culture so that solving Jakarta's problems is not only done alone but based on community awareness and participation." he concluded.

So how does the debate affect voter behavior? Usep S. Ahyar emphasized that DKI voters are rational voters so it is certain that the debate has an influence on voter behavior. At least this is reflected in the findings of the Populi Center in the post-debate survey. First, more than 80% residents of DKI Jakarta watched the debate. This proves the enthusiasm of the public as well as a reference in making choices, especially for novice voters. there are 16% swing voters sound moving experiencing sound changes after the first debate last. Compared to the findings of the December 2016 survey, the movement of votes in the first post-debate survey was spread among the three candidates. There are candidates who are reduced and increased votes. With regard to the holding of the debate, Usep appreciated the KPUD's performance. However, he hopes that in the second debate, more substantial issues will be explored. "The debate is not just about programs and arguments, more than that the essence of the debate is political education for the people." Close it.