If elections held today, ‘Ruto would beat Joho and Raila’

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A new survey has placed Deputy President William Ruto as the clear favourite to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta if the election were held today.

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The latest opinion poll by Ipsos conducted between March 4 and 12 suggests 33 per cent of those interviewed believe Ruto would win. The
survey had 2,003 respondents with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 per cent.
According to the survey, Ruto would be followed by  three people: Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and Nasa leader Raila Odinga, who all tie on 14 per cent.
 firm grip
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi would be third, with eight per cent, while Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua would finish a joint sixth with Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka on six per cent.
Ruto has jumpstarted a long-range campaign for his 2022 State House bid by wooing selected NASA leaders to his fold. Despite warning politicians against engaging in early campaigns, the DP has been hosting high-level delegations and holding rallies disguised as official duties while he puts together strong campaign pillars.
He has also been conducting his trademark harambees and generously dishing out political goodies baptised as development projects.
Talks are ongoing for Ruto to drop his presidential bid in favour of Joho, an MP has said. Mvita lawmaker Abdulswamad Nassir said Ruto has been engaged on the matter and is aware of their intentions. Nassir told the Star the agreement will endear Ruto to the Coast and also foster national unity.
The survey further shows none of the prominent national leaders is seen as having a firm grip on the presidential race ahead of 2022. Overall, in national terms, the Uhuru-Raila handshake had no measurable effect in terms of comparing those who were interviewed before or after the unexpected truce.
too early
 The report  shows it is clearly  too early to conclude these perceptions will endure, let alone that this is a reality that will become entrenched, given the level of falling-out within the Opposition since the completion of the survey.
There is a fallout between Nasa co-principals Raila, Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, who was dethroned last week as the Senate Minority leader. He was replaced by his Siaya counterpart, James Orengo.
Regarding Uhuru’s performance, his level of approval remained unchanged from what it was prior to last year’s General Election. He enjoys a modest but clear positive score.
Fifty per cent of Kenyans are happy with Uhuru’s performance in the last three months. Some 40 per cent are not.
HANDSHAKE AFTERMATH
After the handshake, Uhuru’s performance dropped to 47 per cent. Initially, 82 per cent of Jubilee supporters approved of his performance but the figure dropped to 72 per cent after the ‘handshake’.
Those who approved of the President’s performance cited education, infrastructure and the recent Cabinet appointments. Those who disapproved cited corruption, the debt burden and the struggling economy.
Kenyans, both Jubilee and NASA supporters, perceived the capacity of the Opposition to hold the Jubilee government to account as having increased following the handshake.
Raila has defended his move to engage Uhuru for a unity pact, saying it was for the interest of the country. Raila said it was a painful decision to make but after deep thought on challenges facing the country, he had no option. “I sat with Uhuru to sign the memorandum because I greatly considered the interests of the country,” Raila said.
“It was, however, a painful decision to make but in order to deal with a myriad of challenges facing Kenyans, I had to do so.
The political handshake between the scions of the founding fathers of the nation, the late president Jomo Kenyatta and the first vice president, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, marked an end to decades of bitter rivalry between the families.
If anything, it evoked the sweet memories and experiences Jomo and Jaramogi enjoyed before and after the former’s release from detention and subsequent Independence.
Despite the falling out, the two leaders’ close families’ ties endured.lose knit and was jealously guarded by the leaders and their scions.

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