Africa News Bulletin

Kenya: Ruto is top preferred candidate, Raila second – Tifa poll

If elections were held today, Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto will be the leading candidate at 38 per cent, forcing a run-off between him and his closet challenger Raila Odinga, polled at 27 percent.

This is according to an opinion poll by Trends & Insights for Africa (Tifa), which was released Thursday, February 17.

To secure a first-round win, a presidential candidate should garner at least 50 percent of the total votes, as well as 25 percent in at least 24 of Kenya’s 47 counties.

The poll shows that many Kenyans are still undecided, currently at 20 percent, offering a chance for any of the two leading candidates to topple the other.

In the poll, Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka comes third at two per cent.

Funded by Tifa, the survey was conducted between February 3-9, and sampled 1,541 respondents in the eight former provinces, and had a 2.49 percent margin of error.

On running mates, more than a quarter (27 percent) of those that back the DP want him to have Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi as his running mate.

Others also featuring in the DP running mate preferences are Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru (15 percent), Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua (11 percent) and Mr Musyoka (8 percent).

Of those that back Mr Odinga, 41 percent of them want him to choose 2013 presidential candidate Peter Kenneth as his running mate.

At least 18 percent of them want Mr Odinga to pick Mr Musyoka, who was his running mate in the 2013 and 2017 polls, while 13 percent want 2013 presidential hopeful Martha Karua, even as 8 percent say they would prefer Kitui governor Charity Ngilu.

When the poll is flipped to only focus on most preferred Mt Kenya running mate for Dr Ruto, Ms Waiguru and Mr Gachagua are tied at a 31 percent approval rating, while Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro comes in third at 11 percent, and Ms Karua is at 10 percent.

For Mr Odinga, Mr Kenneth still leads on his most preferred Mt Kenya Number Two at 48 percent, Ms Karua at 29 percent, Nakuru governor Lee Kinyanjui at 4 percent and Laikipia’s Ndiritu Muriithi at 1 percent.

The poll also shows that DP Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance is the most popular political party at 35 per cent, followed by Mr Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) at 24 per cent.

Still, a significant 26 percent of those polled are undecided on the party they support, giving room for the campaigns ahead of the August 9 vote.

UDA is the most preferred in Central Rift, with 60 percent approval, while ODM is most beloved in Nyanza with 55 percent.

“Over the last eighteen months, the two most dramatic changes in the popularity of political parties have been (1) the decline of Jubilee (from 40 percent to 4 percent) and the appearance/rise of UDA (from nothing to 35 percent), making it currently the most popular party. At the same time, ODM’s popularity has doubled (from 12 percent to 24 percent),” Tifa said in the press release.

Further, the research firm said, there has been a steady decline in the proportion of “none” suggesting that more Kenyans are making up their minds about the partisan alignment as the election ballot-menu becomes clearer, even if the actual candidates for most elective positions remains to be determined during the often highly contentious party nominations

Original story on The Citizen

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