Ruto's think tanks did not thoroughly examine all possibilities. The running-mate conundrum has influenced the candidates' respective approaches in addition to influencing their chances.
Change of Strategy
Ruto's game strategy has been to maintain the tyranny of numbers that has been pinned on the Kikuyu-Kalenjin appeasement, which has allowed him and Kenyatta to gain and keep power over the last decade. However, this is turning into a dangerous bet.
Perhaps Rigathi Gachagua, a mobiliser and rough warrior are just what Ruto needed to neutralize Kenyatta's long-awaited assault to depose Ruto and reclaim Mt Kenya for Azimio.
However, with Kenyatta's last-minute decision to abstain from campaigning, having a 'fighter' as a running mate is a huge weight around Ruto's neck.
Ruto's formidable tsunami has yet to garner the required numbers in Odinga's strongholds of Nyanza, Ukambani, Western, and the Coast to dramatically swing the election in his favour. In the turf battle for Kalenjin Rift Valley leadership, Gideon Moi and the Kanu are encroaching on Ruto's zone of influence.
According to political observers, the Rift Valley vote bloc may suffer as a result of its status as a Ruto's stronghold.' They observe that Kenya Kwanza's attention has switched to Mount Kenya, Coast, Ukambani, and Western to establish new support bases.
According to Moi University political expert Masibo Lumala, particular counties known to support Ruto have been harmed.
"Counties such as Nandi, Uasin-Gishu, Bomet, Kericho, and Elgeyo Marakwet are already taken for granted as Ruto strongholds." "High pitch politics ended with party nominations," Prof Lumala stated.
The key issue is whether Kenya's youths will tip the balance, perhaps precipitating a run-off election. The IEBC's recently released final voters' register shows that senior voters outnumber youth votes. Only 8.8 million 18-35-year-olds are registered to vote, compared to 13.3 million elderly. This tips the scales in favour of Azimio, who enjoys the backing of senior voters.
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