New Tifa poll puts Raila ahead of Ruto at 49pc

Raila Odinga and William Ruto

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga (left) and Kenya Kwanza's William Ruto. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga leads his rival in the August 9 presidential race Deputy President William Ruto by 8 percentage points, a new Tifa poll shows.

The poll puts Mr Odinga’s popularity at 49 percent against Dr Ruto’s approval of 41 percent with undecided voters being 8 percent.

Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah comes a distant third with 1.6 percent approval followed by Agano’s David Mwaure at 0.2 percent. 

According to Tifa poll, excluding undecided voters, Raila will win with 53 percent, Ruto 45 percent, Wajackoyah 2 percent and David Mwaure 0.2 percent

However, the survey shows that the ODM party leader will easily surpass the 50 percent +1 threshold to be declared a president if undecided voters are excluded.

This scenario will see the former prime minister garner 53 percent of the votes against the DP’s 45 percent.

“With a small but significant proportion of respondents either claiming to still be undecided or declining to reveal their presidential candidate preference, no candidate attains the required 50%+1 for an August 9 victory though Odinga is close at 49 percent,” says the Tifa poll.

“However, with those undisclosed-preference respondents removed, Odinga does achieve this requirement with a clear margin ahead of his rival,” it adds.

The poll, nonetheless, cautions that the outcome of the election depends on voter turnout and this cannot be predicted by surveys.

“Whether there will be enough balance in voter turnout across the country for these results to mirror the official results when the votes are counted remains to be seen.”

The survey reveals that Dr Ruto has been the most preferred presidential candidate since June 2020 for nearly two years with Mr Odinga only overtaking him in May just after each had announced their running mates. 

“Once their positions reversed, however, it took until just the last two weeks or so for Odinga to increase the margin that Tifa May survey revealed. Whether he can maintain or increase it remains to be seen.”

In the May survey, Mr Odinga had an approval of 39 percent against the DP’s 35 percent increasing to 42 percent in June, 47 percent in July to the current 49 percent in August.

On the other hand, Dr Ruto’s popularity also increased to 39 percent then 44 percent before dropping to 41 percent currently.

The poll shows that support for the presidential candidates is concentrated in their home areas but quite divided elsewhere.

“The main contrast being that whereas ODM was dominant in six zones, the Raila-Karua ticket leads in seven, evidently a reflection of the fact that their coalition is comprised of more than twice as many political parties as their competitors’,”

According to the report, more Kenyans identify with UDA at 38 percent followed by ODM at 32 percent and Jubilee and Wiper at 5 percent and 4 percent respectively.

In terms of the coalitions, Azimio is the most popular at 46 percent edging Kenya Kwanza which has a rating of 36 percent.

Azimio has the majority of support in Coast, Lower Eastern, Nairobi, North Eastern, Nyanza, South Rift and Western. On other hand, Kenya Kwanza is most popular in the Central Rift and Mt Kenya regions.

The self-funded poll was conducted between July 31 and August 1, 2022 with 2,268 respondents spread across nine zones in the country interviewed through telephone and has a margin of error of +/-2 percent margin of error.