Wednesday, 19 July 2017

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

The poll John Zogby shows that National Super Alliance candidate Raila Odinga has a slim lead over President Uhuru Kenyatta but not enough to secure a first-round victory
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 moreundecided 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.”Meanwhile there will be a teleconference with Mr John Zogby at Serena Hotel, Canna Room from 3.30 pm.
. About two-thirds of Kenyans say they’re worse off economically, expressing concerns that should “worry” President Uhuru Kenyatta as he seeks re-election in a vote in three weeks, pollsters Ipsos and U.S-based John Zogby said.
Almost half of the population cite the cost of living and hunger as the most serious problems they grapple with daily, followed by unemployment, Nairobi-based Ipsos said in an opinion poll published on Wednesday. The survey found that voters in the western Nyanza region, an opposition stronghold, are the most aggrieved about the high cost of basic necessities, while residents of eastern counties complained mainly of hunger.
“To the extent that Kenyans seize the opportunity of an election to register their satisfaction or distress with regard to their everyday conditions, those seeking popular support will ignore the kinds of findings presented above at their peril,” Ipsos said.
Current economic conditions and corruption weigh on Kenyatta’s chances of re-election, said Zogby, who conducted an opinion poll on behalf of the opposition National Super Alliance. About 56 percent of Kenyans are concerned about unemployment, while more than 70 percent think corruption has worsened during the past four years, Zogby said in an emailed statement. About 88 percent of 2,983 Kenyans surveyed link corruption to difficulties they experience in daily life, and a similar number cite expensive living among their challenges.
“If I were the president, I’d be worried,” Zogby said. “No poll is perfect, but for those who find it convenient to dismiss these results, they are engaging in wishful thinking.”
A drought that’s spanned three harvests has cut farm output in Kenya, leading to shortages of foods including the staple corn, sugar and milk. That’s driven the inflation rate to the highest level in five years, squeezing families in an economy where almost half of the population survives on less than $2 a day. The government said in May it planned to spend 6 billion shillings ($58 million) subsidizing corn prices that have surged because of the deficit. Half of the 2,209 people surveyed by Ipsos said they hadn’t seen any change in prices.
Popularity RiskCorn remains the preferred food in Kenya and the government’s popularity “is likely to suffer if the constant demand for it remains unsatisfied,” Ipsos said. Kenyatta is seeking re-election in the Aug. 8 vote in a race against opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Kenyatta would get 49 percent of the ballots cast if elections were held today, compared with 44 percent for Odinga, the Nairobi-based Star newspaper reported Wednesday, citing a poll by its parent company, Radio Africa Group. About 47.4 percent of Kenyans prefer Odinga as president, compared with 46.7 percent that want Kenyatta, Zogby said in the statement, ahead of his poll’s release later Wednesday.
While Kenyan voters usually choose leaders from their own ethnic community, they could seize the opportunity to register satisfaction or distress with “their everyday conditions” at the ballot box, Ipsos said.
Source: Bloomberg Business News

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