Deputy President William Ruto’s running mate Rigathi Gachagua has been blamed for the drop in the UDA presidential candidate’s popularity.
According to the latest poll by Infotrak, released on Wednesday, June 8, Ruto’s support went down by 4 percentage points in the days following his announcement that he would run alongside Gachagua.
Speaking at the launch of the polls, Infotrak Research and consulting CEO Angela Ambitho stated that some of those sampled revealed that they had been supporting Ruto but became undecided with the entrance of the Mathira MP on the UDA ticket.
The polls showed that former Prime Minister Raila Odinga maintained his popularity at 42 per cent after picking Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua as the running mate.
“The picking of Rigathi as the running mate has not necessarily worked in the favour of Raila by increasing his popularity in Ruto’s stronghold. What it has done for Ruto is that there is an increase of undecided voters in his stronghold.
“The undecided vote, especially in Central, has increased but it has not gone elsewhere. That is why Raila has maintained at 42 and Ruto has gone down to 38. It is not known how activities being done by Raila and Martha now will see his numbers going up by endearing the undecided voters in Ruto’s strongholds,” she stated.
According to the polls, Ruto currently enjoys support in the Mt Kenya region at 52 per cent while Raila’s popularity was put at 27 per cent. The undecided voters were placed at 21 per cent.
However, Ambitho noted that the Azimio and Kenya Kwanza’s campaign strategies would influence the undecided voters in the coming weeks even as they named 11 battleground counties.
They include Tana River, Kwale , Lamu, Turkana, Narok,Kajiado, Samburu, Nakuru, West Pokot, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties.
The report comes slightly over three weeks after the DP announced Gachagua as his number two – in a controversial selection process that threatened the unity of the Kenya Kwanza coalition.
The Mathira MP was picked despite the DP using an electoral college selection process where Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki emerged the winner.
Gachagua has also come under criticism over numerous gaffes made during his speech in the days following his elevation to a potential deputy president.
During an interview on Inooro FM, Gachagua argued that it would be more economical to have many start ups in the country rather than have a few big blue chip companies making all the money. Consequently, he was criticised by a section of Kenyans who stated that some of the big companies had played a major part in improving the country’s economy.