Kenya – poll says Ruto likely to be president before Raila

Star (Kenya)

Feb. 21, 2017, 12:00 am

DP William Ruto in a jovial mood with some of the IDPs leaders at his Karen residence./FILE
DP William Ruto in a jovial mood with some of the IDPs leaders at his Karen residence./FILE

Deputy President William Ruto is more likely to become President before ODM leader Raila Odinga, an Ipsos poll released yesterday suggests.

A new question by the pollster shows many people surveyed say Ruto can be President before Raila, who is trying a fourth time, ever gets there.

The former Prime Minister, is 72.

The poll shows 58 per cent say Ruto will be President one day, followed by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka (56 per cent), who was Raila’s running mate in 2013. They are followed by ANC leader Mudavadi (51 per cent).

Raila comes fourth with 50 per cent.

Forty-five per cent said Raila will never be President, 37 per cent who said Ruto will never be head of state.

Thirty-eight per cent said Kalonzo will never be President, 40 per cent said they do not see a Mudavadi presidency.

The random poll of 2,057 Kenyans age 18 and above was conducted from January 9-26 across 41 counties, both urban and rural.

The margin-of-error is +/- 2.15, 95 per cent confidence level.

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The poll also shows Raila has gained two points, as President Uhuru Kenyatta has dropped by four points in the last four months.

Nearly half (47 per cent) said they would vote for Uhuru, with just under one-third supporting Raila (30 per cent).

However, 49 per cent said they want Raila to remain active in politics and run for President.

It also found 45 per cent of Kenyans were affiliated to Jubilee, while 34 per cent felt closest to Cord/NASA.

Jubilee was most popular in Central, Rift Valley and Northeastern, while Cord was popular in Western, Nyanza and Coast. The two sides appeared even in Eastern and Nairobi.

Most Jubilee supporters (55 per cent) cited the government’s development record, while opposition supporters (22 per cent) gave the same reason for their support.

The results are similar to those of a Radio Africa Group poll published last week in the Star.

The Star poll showed Raila gaining five percentage points over one month, with Uhuru losing the same over the same period.

Uhuru is, however, still leading Raila by 20 per cent, scoring 48 per cent, compared with Raila’s 28 per cent, according to the Star poll.

The Ipsos poll puts Raila 24 points ahead of his closest NASA rival, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka who has six per cent support.

The other NASA co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, who is also in the race for President, scores three per cent, while DP Ruto has one per cent.

Ruto is not running for President and will support Uhuru’s reelection as his running mate.

“In partisan terms, while nearly nine out of 10 Jubilee supporters back Uhuru (87 per cent), somewhat fewer Cord/NASA supporters back Raila (73 per cent),” Ipsos chief research Tom Wolf said in a briefing yesterday. “[However], given that whereas the former is certainly the Jubilee candidate, the opposition’s candidate remains unknown.”

Uhuru has a majority in Central (86 per cent), Rift Valley (62 per cent) and North Eastern (62 per cent), with Raila getting 5 per cent, 20 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively.

Raila’s highest support is in Nyanza (73 per cent) and Coast (46 per cent), with Uhuru getting 16 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.

The two would appear to divide the spoils in Nairobi, with Raila leading marginally with a gap of six per cent against Uhuru.

Uhuru gets 44 per cent in Eastern, followed by Kalonzo at 34 per cent, with Raila managing 13 per cent support.

In Western, perceived to be Mudavadi’s bedrock, Raila leads with 36 per cent, followed by Uhuru at 24 per cent and Mudavadi at 13 per cent.

Wolf explained they could not break down the each candidate’s performance by county due to the size of the sample, which would make the margin of error bigger.

All respondents who could identify at least the five most popular actual/potential presidential candidates were then asked who could most effectively address five critical issues.

“Here, the President out-scores the former PM on all except for “combatting corruption”, obtaining his largest margin with regard to “promoting development,” Wolf said.

The poll found 41 per cent are confident Raila can effectively tackle corruption, compared to 32 per cent citing Uhuru.

The President is rated best to promote the rule of law (43 per cent), unite Kenyans/fight tribalism (44 per cent), promote economic development (49 per cent) and reduce inequality (41 per cent).

Raila scores 37 per cent in promoting rule of law, 30 per cent in uniting Kenyans and fighting tribalism, 32 per cent in promoting economic development and 34 per cent in reducing inequality.

“It is important to note the substantial minorities — ranging from eight per cent to 17 per cent — who have no assurance any of the main or frequently mentioned actual or potential candidates can address these five issues,” Wolf said.

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