Karua, Raila, Uhuru rated top in debate

The eight presidential candidates at the debating hall in Brookehouse International School. According to a new poll by Consumer Insight, Narc Kenya boss Martha Karua, assistant minister Peter Kenneth, deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Raila Odinga were the best performers in the Monday presidential debate in which 328 TV viewers were interviewed. PHOTO/NATION
By PATRICK MAYOYO pmayoyo@ke.nationmedia.com AND BENJAMIN MUINDI bmuindi@ke.nationmedia.com  ( email the author)

Posted  Tuesday, February 12  2013 at  20:04

In Summary

  • 34 per cent said they had changed their choice of presidential candidate after watching Monday night’s televised event
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Narc Kenya boss Martha Karua, assistant minister Peter Kenneth, deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Raila Odinga were the best performers in the Monday presidential debate, according to a new poll.

Consumer Insight, in telephone interviews of 328 TV viewers conducted immediately after the debate, also ranked the candidates on how they performed in specific issues.

Many of those who watched the debate said it was very useful with a full 92 per cent saying it helped them understand the candidates better.

The big surprise was the large number of respondents whom the research firm said had changed their choices after the debate.

“Indeed 34 per cent of TV viewers said that the debate had influenced them to change their choice of presidential candidate,” said Mr Ndirangu Maina, the managing director of Consumer Insight.

The surprise of the night was Mr Kenneth whose grasp of issues and facts appear to have impressed a lot of those interviewed.

Ranked top

While overall the polling firm’s research said Mr Kenyatta was ranked top by those interviewed, Mr Odinga performed strongly too, being ranked best in seven of the 18 issues discussed.

Prof James Ole Kiyiapi impressed on one issue, education, on which he was ranked the strongest debater.

Mr Odinga did better than the other candidates on devolution, public service reform, energy, national security, foreign policy, infrastructure and implementation of the Constitution.

Ms Karua was seen as the best candidate to deal with corruption, health care, social protection, water and environment.

In a surprisingly strong performance, the polling firm said its research showed Mr Kenneth perceived as the candidate best able to bring economic growth, fight against tribalism and manage resources.

Mr Kenyatta was rated strongest on food security and job creation.

Mr Mohammed Abduba Diba, Mr Musalia Mudavadi and Mr Paul Muite did not quite shine in any of the 18 issues, according to the research firm.

Overall, Consumer Insight said 27 per cent of the people it interviewed ranked Mr Kenyatta as the best performer, followed by 26 per cent who thought Mr Kenneth did best while 22 per cent ranked Mr Odinga first and 12 per cent gave Ms Karua top marks.

Mr Dida was ranked best performer by nine per cent of the respondents, Mr Muite two per cent while Mr Mudavadi and Kiyiapi were rated top by only one per cent of those interviewed.

The polling firm said it interviewed the 328 TV viewers immediately after the debate between 11pm and 1am and from 6am and 8.30am.

Mr Maina said all respondents confirmed having watched the debate and all claimed to be registered voters.

“This sample was drawn from a database with over 50,000 people representing all demographics in Kenya,” he said.

Mr Maina said the data was collected through Computer Aided Telephone Interviews (CATI), a technique that randomizes respondent selection and facilitates efficient data capture.

He said nearly six out of 10 TV viewers said Mr Kenyatta was right in contesting the presidency, despite facing crimes against humanity charges at the Hague.

Political scientist and researcher, Mr Tom Wolf, giving a personal analysis, said he thought all the presidential candidates performed well.

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