September 21st 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

Jubilee camp in panic as U.S. poll shows Raila has pulled ahead of Uhuru

Indeed, concerns about corruption seem to run very deep. An overwhelming number of people, of all political loyalties, tie corruption to difficulties they experience in their daily lives. Over 88% of respondents say corruption plays a large or moderate role in rates of unemployment.

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comWednesday, 19 Jul 2017 21:18 EAT

Graphic of NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee.

NASA Presidential candidate Raila Odinga has surged to a narrow lead over President Uhuru Kenyatta in a sensational new poll overseen by celebrated U.S. pollster, John Zogby. Mr Odinga is now the preferred choice of 47.4% of registered voters, against 46.7% for President Kenyatta.

Concerns about the state of the economy and worsening corruption under Kenyatta seem to be weighing on the President’s chances, according to Zogby. “A plurality of Kenyans [42%] think the country is going in the wrong direction, while large numbers are concerned about unemployment [56%] and corruption [42%]. If I were the President, I’d be worried,” says Zogby. "Nearly 70% of Kenyans think corruption has gotten worse in the last four years, including a lot of his own supporters [46%]”.

Results reported are based on 2,983 face-to-face interviews conducted between July 8th and 13th in every county in Kenya. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2%, 19 times out of 20.

Indeed, concerns about corruption seem to run very deep. An overwhelming number of people, of all political loyalties, tie corruption to difficulties they experience in their daily lives. Over 88% of respondents say corruption plays a large or moderate role in rates of unemployment. Other prominent social ills like the high cost of living [88%] and the shortage of basic foodstuff [82%] attract similar numbers.

As for who might prevail on Election Day, Zogby sees reasons for the Odinga camp to feel confident. Many more undecided voters are considering voting for him over the President, 47% to 27%, he says.

Asked to address concerns regarding the accuracy of the numbers reported, Zogby is sanguine. “I’ve been involved in thousands of polls like this, over many years, in dozens of countries, including in Kenya. I took part in this project from start to finish and can say unequivocally that the work is first-rate. Of course, no poll is perfect but for those who find it convenient to dismiss these results … well, the kindest thing I can say is they are engaging in wishful thinking.”

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