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Raila Odinga seen here on the campaign trail/FILE


Raila still the man to beat in polls

Raila Odinga seen here on the campaign trail/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28 – An opinion poll conducted by Infotrak Harris Research and Consulting shows that Prime Minister Raila Odinga remains the preferred choice for president at a percentage of 36.6 of Kenyans polled, followed by Deputy Uhuru Kenyatta at 21.9 percent.

Infotrak’s CEO Angela Ambitho acknowledged that the latest poll is not very different from the data they published in June, and noted that no presidential hopeful meets the 50 percent plus one vote in the first round as required by the constitution although several candidates have gained commanding support in certain regions.

“Raila Odinga’s main strongholds are Nyanza, North Eastern, Coast, Western and I think Nairobi is really going neck and neck,” she said.

“Uhuru is the most preferred presidential candidate in the Central Region at 60.5 percent, while Ruto is the main man to beat in Rift Valley. Musalia’s political star seems to be rising in the Western Region and Kalonzo is certainly the most preferred candidate in Eastern,” she added.

The Constitution requires that a presidential candidate must garner no less than 25 percent of votes cast in at least 24 of the 47 counties and only Odinga has met this requirement by receiving 25 percent of the vote in 27 counties, while Kenyatta and William Ruto garnered 25 percent of votes in 13 and eight counties respectively.

The poll was conducted between June 7 and June 15 and 11,616 respondents in all 47 counties in the 290 proposed constituencies were interviewed to represent the Kenyan adult population of 19,533,700.

The poll indicates that the popularity of several candidates has increased in the last month with Odinga gaining 1.6 percent, Kenyatta 4.6 percent, Kalonzo Musyoka 0.8 percent, Peter Kenneth 0.3 percent and Martha Karua 1.1 percent, while Ruto and Musalia Mudavadi dropped in popularity by 0.5 percent and 0.1 percent respectively, but Ambitho said that who they choose as their running mates will be a game changer.

“Depending on who you pick as your running mate it could actually tip that vote so that it is swayed towards the women feeling that indeed this candidate is looking at the interests of women,” she stated.

“It depends on the candidate… whether the candidate indeed is a woman or that candidate can actually espouse the interests of women and that’s when I think we’ll start seeing clear numbers,” she explained.

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Odinga, Kalonzo, Ruto and Mudavadi have more support from their male supporters while Kenyatta, Karua and Kenneth enjoy more support from their female supporters.

Odinga garnered 40.1 percent of his votes from male supporters and 33.5 percent from female voters, while Kenyatta got 21.4 percent of his votes from males and 22.4 percent from female supporters.

Karua received 7.2 percent of her votes from female supporters and 2.5 percent from males, while Musyoka got 9.4 percent from male supporters and 9.8 percent from females.

Ambitho revealed that Mudavadi has emerged as the most preferred alternative presidential candidate for the majority of Kenyans if their preferred presidential candidate is not on the ballot.

“He is still the most preferred alternative presidential candidate for supporters of Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, Peter Kenneth, Martha Karua and Eugene Wamalwa,” she said.

Ambitho also responded to criticism from certain candidates who question the legitimacy of Infotrak data because they claim she is only trying to make a living from producing numbers.

“I think it was a statement in bad taste but I understand that these numbers may annoy some people. These are tools and we need to use them as such,” she emphasised.

“These numbers are not numbers representing Angela Ambitho’s views, they’re representing the views of Kenyans so if they’re saying that we would vote for ‘X’ and not yourself simply because you’re a woman, then you must assess the numbers as tools and ask yourself ‘What is it that I’m not doing to resonate with women?’,” she posed.

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