In the presidential election race, Raila Odinga's selection of Martha Karua as running mate in mid-May helped his campaign in the short term (while Ruto's choice of Gachagua focused on protecting his Mount Kenya strength and added little nationwide) but I'm still giving victory to "outsider" (yet simultaneously Deputy President) William Ruto by a narrow margin: 51-49. Recent polls have suggested a growing Raila lead but there are substantial methodological challenges in accurate Kenyan polling (which Tom Wolf has outlined in https://www.theelephant.info/op-eds/2022/05/24/why-opinion-polls-may-not-always-predict-election-outcomes-in-kenya/). Also, I suspect the large numbers of allegedly undecided or "prefer not to say" respondents will break (narrowly) for Ruto, as the state's open backing for Raila over Ruto disincentivizes complete honestly.
County by county, its neck and neck. I'm calling 18 for Ruto with a substantial majority (60-40 or more) and 17 for Raila, with five each as closer wins and two (Lamu and Kajiado) unclear for me still. The Kikuyu vote remains key to Ruto's success and I don't believe Karua will make a big dent in that in the end for Raila, but if she does, Azimio will win. Much also depends on how the battle for the Mulembe nation proceeds. The media seem generally to favour Raila's chances in Western but the feedback from the ground is less conclusive. I've given four of the five Luhya dominated counties narrowly to Ruto (while I see Busia as strongly ODM) but a larger majority (as Mudavadi and Wetang'ula have promised) would seal Ruto's victory and a defeat would make his path to State House very hard. With Kalonzo Musyoka's deliberate "spoiling" of his presidential bid to reluctantly rejoin Raila and most independents and minor candidates failing to meet the tougher IEBC qualification hurdle, I see no chance at all of a run off.
For visual clarity, Raila's Azimio is now coloured purple (since they are using both Red (Jubilee) and Blue (Azimio) as campaign colours), with Raila's orange still in the mix in his heartlands. UDA branding remains yellow, combined with green in Kenya Kwanza campaign materials
In the gubernatorial races - for many Kenyans just as important as the presidential race - the scales tilt slightly in Azimio's favour. I'm calling 24 for Azimio overall and 20 for Kenya Kwanza, with 3 unclear. This is because Jubilee has some locally important leaders (such as Ephraim Maina in NyerI) who have a chance of victory under their own brand without sending many votes Raila's way. I haven't calculated the Senatorial or Women representatives results yet but I expect them to be similar but with slightly more party ticket voting.
In Parliament, among the 290 elected MPs, today I'm calling 136 (47%) for Kenya Kwanza, 118 (41%) for Azimio and 36 (12%) not clear, favouring unaligned independents or (most common) seats I haven't reviewed in enough detail. Those will break I think for Azimio as they include several Western and Gusii seats where ODM should do well, plus some Northern and North-Eastern seats where Ruto does not have a strong candidate.* So, again, overall, very close. In this election, everything matters.
* Ruto appears to be performing slightly better in the mostly Moslem Upper East/North East, but political party is of limited importance in this area and ethnicity and clan alliances tend to dominate voter decisions. Even where he has strong candidates, it may not convert into presidential ballots
Thoughts on anything Kenya, mostly political.