Raila vs Ruto 2022 – A detailed breakdown of Raila’s 51% possible win
Campaigns are officially over but before August 9th arrives, it is time for us to sit down and worry about the possibility of our preferred candidate emerging the winner in the Raila vs Ruto 2022 race. To help with this worry, I took the time to break down the voter’s register into regions, went into the past voting patterns to check on Raila’s performance in those regions, factored in the political realignments that have happened since then, and arrived at the conclusion that realistically one should expect a Raila’s win with 51.9% of the vote against Ruto’s 46.1% of the vote. Let’s delve into the regions:
Luo Nyanza of Siaya, Kisumu, Homabay and Migori counties is Raila’s bedrock. In 2017, Raila managed to obtain 99% of the votes in Siaya and Homabay, 97% in Kisumu, and 85% in Migori. The counties had a voter turnout of 81% to 84%. Assuming a standard 97% performance in Siaya, Kisumu and Homabay and 85% performance in Migori against a voter turnout of 80%, Raila’s and Ruto’s performance can be expected to be as shown in Table 1 below.
Kisii and Nyamira counties that form Gusii Land voted for Uhuruto in 2017 at the rate of 43% and 52% respectively. For Raila Odinga, the two counties voted at the rate of 55% and 45% respectively and they had a voter turnout of 73% and 72% respectively. This voting pattern is not expected to remain intact given the political realignment that has seen president Kenyatta and CS Matiang’i crossover to Raila’s side, and the fact that current governors of the region and gubernatorial candidates that are most likely to win in the two counties are members of Azimio. Thus, most of those who voted for Uhuruto are expected to also cross over and vote for Raila. My guestimate, therefore, is that Ruto can only achieve a maximum of 20% support in Kisii and a maximum of 30% support in Nyamira. With these assumptions, the figures from Gusii land can be expected to look like the figures presented in Table 2 below.
One of the difficult regions to understand in this election is the Western region. This is because the region is witnessing two of its kingpins support William Ruto, yet the region has been a good supporter of Raila Odinga since 2007. In 2013, the region overwhelmingly voted for Raila Odinga despite one of the kingpins running for the presidency. The dynamics of the region may make one expect that Ruto will have a slight edge over Raila Odinga in Vihiga and Bungoma counties, and will perform at par with Raila in Transnzoia county, but Raila to retain his performance for 2017 in Busia and Kakamega counties. With these in mind, the numbers from Western Kenya can be expected to look like the figures presented in Table 3 below.
In Ukambani, Raila obtained an average of 80% from Taita Taveta, Kitui, Makueni and Machakos counties. Taita Taveta is being treated as a Kamba county because it is a Wiper stronghold and because it also votes in the same pattern as the mainstream Kamba counties. In this election, since most of those who voted for Uhuruto from Kamba land likely voted for them because of Uhuru and not Ruto, and since there appears to be no major leader from Kamba land that is supporting William Ruto other than Muthama and Machakos governor Alfred Mutua, it is realistic to expect Raila to obtain an average of 85% of the Kamba votes. Given this expectation, the numbers from Ukambani are likely going to look like the numbers presented in Table 4.
The coastal region is one of the two regions that Ruto has targeted with the aim of raiding Raila’s votes, the other region being Western Kenya. Ruto hopes to raid as many votes as possible from the coastal region and Western Kenya so as to counter any headway Raila may make in Mt. Kenya. With Amason Kingi joining Ruto albeit late, and given Raila’s past performance in the region that bordered at around 75%, the raids Ruto may have made in the region still leave Raila with a strong 70%. Table 5 provides the expected figures for Raila vs Ruto 2022 in the coastal region.
Nairobi and the two extra counties
In this analysis, I grouped diaspora and prisons together with Nairobi largely because the numbers of those two extra counties are not expected to change the overall performance of either of the candidates and secondly because it is not aesthetically pleasing to have a county stand all by itself.
Nairobi has traditionally voted in favour of Raila Odinga, where in the last election it gave Raila 51% of the vote against Uhuruto’s 48%. In this election, one may expect Raila to get near 60% of the vote given that Ruto hasn’t reached 40% popularity in the county in any of the opinion polls. With these in mind, the expected performance of Raila and Ruto in Nairobi is given in Table 6 below.
Totals from Raila’s strongholds
I have so far covered 6 regions, with four regions to go. The four remaining regions are the regions where Ruto is expected to outperform Raila hence let us take a break and consider the total performance of Raila vs Ruto 2022 in the six regions that one may term as Raila’s strongholds. Table 7 provides the totals.
As shown in Table 7, the number of registered voters in Raila’s strongholds is slightly over 11.8 million, with slightly over 8.9 million of them expected to vote for a voter turnout of 75.4%. From his strongholds, Raila can expect to garner around 6.5 million votes as Ruto garners 2.2 million votes, giving Raila a 4.3 million votes headstart. The question we need to ask ourselves at this juncture is, can the remaining regions propel Ruto to catch up with Raila and if lucky overtake him? Let’s see what the Kalenjin nation, Mt. Kenya, other Rift Valley counties and North Eastern regions have to say.
Kalenjin nation is comprised of Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Kericho, Bomet and Baringo counties, counties that voted for Raila at the rate of 21 per cent, 5 per cent, 12.6 per cent, 6 per cent, 12 per cent, and 14.6 per cent respectively. The reason counties in the Kalenjin nation gave Raila above the 1 per cent expected votes is because some of these counties have a significant population of non-Kalenjins. For example, Uasin Gishu has a lot of Kisiis, Luhyias, Luos and Kikuyus, as Nandi hosts a lot of Luos, especially at its borders with the Luos. With this in mind, the expected performance of Raila and Ruto in the Kalenjin counties is given in Table 8.
If there is a region that is critical for William Ruto it is the Mt. Kenya region. From the predicted votes that Ruto is expected to get from Kalenjin Nation, we see that Ruto has been able to narrow the 4.3 million gap Raila had from his strongholds to 2.93 million. Mt. Kenya therefore ought to help Ruto bridge this gap. Mt. Kenya is not expected to turn out in large numbers but given the heightened campaigns Ruto has had in the mountain over the last four years, it won’t be unrealistic to work with a voter turnout of 80%.
Making a prediction for Mt. Kenya is not easy given the fact that we can’t tell how much sway President Kenyatta has had on them since he started supporting Raila, how much hatred the mountain has for Raila, and how trustworthy the opinion polls that give Raila up to 30% in the mountain are. Given these in mind, it is realistic for one to expect Raila to achieve up to 40% in Nakuru, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, Kiambu and Meru counties given that in Meru both kingpins of Merians support Raila, Raila has had a great performance in the past in Laikipia, Raila’s running mate hails from Kirinyaga, and both Nakuru and Kiambu are cosmopolitan to an extent. In other counties of Nyeri, Muranga’a and Nyandarua, one may expect Raila to garner somewhere between 15% and 20% of the vote. Given these considerations, Raila vs Ruto 2022 in Mt. Kenya can look like the figures presented in Table 9.
Table 9 indicates that Raila can actually get the 30% from Mt. Kenya and if that happens, there is no way Ruto can win in this election. That is because the difference between their votes before factoring in the two remaining regions now stands at 1.19 million, a vote difference that the two remaining regions cannot bridge.
North Eastern is a mixed region given that in 2017 Garissa, Wajir, and Isiolo voted for Raila and Uhuruto almost at 50-50, whereas Marsabit and Mandera overwhelmingly voted for Uhuruto. Given these facts, my guestimate for the region has produced the figures presented in Table 10. These are the figures that I have the least confidence in.
The Rest of Rift Valley
The last but definitely not the least region under consideration is a mix of two regions – north and south rift. This region has the counties West Pokot, Turkana, Samburu, Narok and Kajiado. Similar to North Eastern, the expectation is that in this region the two leading candidates will perform on an almost 50-50 basis. The predicted numbers are presented in Table 11.
Totals from Ruto’s Strongholds
It is important to again take a break and consider the aggregate figures from Ruto’s strongholds, where the counties presented after Raila’s strongholds are all considered Ruto’s strongholds. Table 12 provides these totals.
Table 12 indicate that Ruto has a total of 10.3 million voters registered in counties one may consider his strongholds. Compare this to the 11.8 million voters registered in Raila’s strongholds and you can immediately see that Raila is already ahead by 3.5 million votes. Despite this wide margin, Ruto has managed to bridge this gap such that Raila remains ahead by only 0.9 million votes thanks largely to the expected turnout dynamics – the only dynamics that will truly determine this year’s presidential election.
Table 13 shows the total aggregation of all the votes in all the counties if the voters decide to vote according to this prediction. I will closely monitor the results with the aim of disproving this prediction.