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Mizani Africa: Ruto losing popularity to Odinga

William Ruto remains the most popular presidential candidate ahead of Kenya’s general elections in August 2022.

This is according to the latest poll conducted by Mizani Africa which places the outgoing Deputy President with a 47% rating. Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga comes second with 46%.

Crucially, none of these two candidates garners the threshold of being elected as president if the elections were to be held today. The Kenyan law states the winner must amass a 50%+1 vote threshold.

“Ruto commands a strong lead in two regions that is Mt. Kenya (76.3%) and Rift Valley (64.4%). Raila Odinga commands a lead in six regions namely Nyanza(76.3%), Lower Eastern (75.1%), North Eastern (57.2%), Western (56.3%), Coast (56.2%) and Nairobi (51.6%),” the report said.

Although the marginal difference between them is only 0.1%, the report suggests Ruto’s popularity has been on a downward trajectory from August 2017 with Odinga’s rising steadily.

However, 4.9% of the Mizani Africa respondents are still undecided with 1.2% choosing to elect other presidential candidates.

Last week an opinion poll by Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA) suggested that if elections were to be held today, Ruto would get 39% of the votes closely followed by Odinga with 32%.

“Odinga’s popularity has risen from 23% to 32% in three months according to the poll, while Ruto has gained by only one percent,” TIFA reported.

Party-wise, United Democratic Alliance (UDA), a party associated with Ruto, was reported as the most popular party in the country with a 34% rating.

Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) came second with 19% while President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party came at number three with 4%.

With the August polls being three months away, Presidential aspirants William Ruto of UDA and Raila Odinga of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition will battle it out with 46 other Kenyans seeking the presidential seat as independent candidates.

In the 2017 general elections, President Uhuru Kenyatta garnered 54% votes over Odinga’s 47%.