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Raila catches up with Ruto in NMG poll

William Ruto and Raila Odinga are tied at a 42% rating in the race to succeed Uhuru Kenyatta as the country’s next president, a poll conducted by Infotrak Research and Consulting and commissioned by the Nation Media Group (NMG) reveals.

But none of these two politicians would be elected outright as the Kenyan law indicates a winning presidential candidate should gather 50% plus one of all votes cast.

Failure for the winning candidate to marshall that amount will lead to a run-off pitting the first and second-place finishers.

The poll conducted on May 8 and 9th incorporated the opinions of 2,400 respondents with 10% of the voters saying they are yet to decide whom they will vote for in the August 2022 polls.

Another 5% declined to respond to the questions asked.

“Ruto’s popularity has grown only by 8% more since November last year while Odinga’s popularity has grown by 17% in the intervening six months. In addition, Odinga overtook Ruto by the popularity in December last year with his popularity growing by 8% while Ruto’s declined by 2%,” the poll indicates.

However, the number of undecided voters has dropped significantly from 22% in March to 10%.

Going by regions, Ruto’s popularity is dominant in Central and Rift Valley while Odinga’s in Coast, North Eastern, Western, Nyanza, Nairobi.

Ruto and Raila have the same percentage of popularity in Eastern.

When asked why they chose a specific leader,  67% cited Odinga’s experience and development as compared to 53% who cited the same for Ruto.

On reasons to vote because of manifesto and campaign promises, 37% were attracted to Ruto while 29% to Odinga.

However, NMG’s findings counter polls conducted by Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA) and Mizani Africa.

Last week, TIFA reported that if elections would be conducted then, Ruto would garner 39% of the cast votes with Odinga at 32%.

Mizani Africa, on the other hand, reported on Wednesday that if elections would be conducted then, Ruto would have 47.0% votes while Odinga 46.9%.

The three polls also signposted that Ruto’s popularity had been on a downward trajectory while Odinga’s rising steadily.

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.