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Monday, November 12, 2007

Steadman Consultant 'Mellows' After State House Summons

Dr. Tom Wolf has been a political scientist and research consultant for the Steadman Group since 2004. He is a face that is synonymous with Kenya's highly controversial political opinion polls and is an American national.

Unconfirmed reports have emerged in Nairobi that Dr. Wolf was recently summoned to State House and instructed in no uncertain terms to ensure that President Kibaki ratings MUST be made the highest in the 'Steadman' opinion polls. These reports received credence this morning when a caller claiming to an NSIS officer with 'interest of the country at heart' made sensational claims on Umoja FM (105.5) on air saying that Dr. Wolf had been threatened with immediate deportation unless he doctored opinion poll ratings in favour of the president. His spirited efforts to explain the ABCs of research methods fell on deaf ears. Things reportedly turned nasty at State House where he is said to have been slapped on the face by an enraged first lady for 'failing to heed instructions'. Personally, I doubt if Dr. Wolf would have offered much physical resistance. My conservative estimates put him at 5ft, 55kg.

Apparently, Steadman Group is now feeling the pressure not only from opposition leaders, but also from government side. ODM-K's Kalonzo Musyoka was reported to have had an early 3 hour meeting with Steadman MD Mr. George Waititu last week at a Nairobi Hotel. Now the State House summons appear to have forced the research company to questionably change its sampling parameters. Can previous opinion results be trusted then? Other sources contend that had Steadman stuck to their traditional sampling methods, Raila would have defeated Kibaki by a margin of 15 - 20%!

Interestingly, the Nation Media Group has also commissioned three different research companies to publish weekly provincial and national opinion polls on the three leading presidential candidates. All three research firms plus the Steadman Group have for the last eight weeks persistently placed ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga on the lead, albeit with varied ratings.

Yesterday, Dr. Wolf penned a lengthy article in the leading Sunday newspapers saying that the winner of this year's presidential poll will be determined by the voter turn-out. Whether this is as a result of the State House visit remains to be seen.

As it has been rightly pointed out, Steadman does not vote. The people will surely decide at the ballot box on 27/Dec/2007.


Anonymous said...

Kenyans Beware:- Steadman Evil Intentions Unearthed

November 9th,2007

A lot has been said about Steadman and their controversial opinion polls. Some people say they believe their polls,others say they are manipulated while others are not sure. The truth of the matter is that Steadman is a powerful political instrument that has been employed by certain foreign powers in conjunction with ODM and some section of the media to shape the politics of this country and ultimately to influence the political destiny of Kenya and its people.

Steadman which is commercial and profit making company came into the political opinion polling limelight around September 2005 during the Referendum campaign. It released its first opinion polls on the referendum some times in September,which gave the Banana team 32% and Orange team 46% and said 22% was UN – decided. The actual referendum results were Orange 57% and Banana 43%. After the release of the results Steadman curiously claimed that it had actually predicted similar results at the eve of voting but had held it back to avoid influencing the voting pertains. The truth of the matter is that those polls were never published even after the referendum polls. However,the point is that in spite of the Media obsession with Steadman opinion polls,Steadman has never predicted the results of any General elections in Kenya .

That brings us back to the next critical question about the activities of Steadman and the seemingly obsession of the Media about Steadman opinion polls. What is their interest? Who do they work for? After the fall out of Kibaki government with the American and The British government due to his insistence on looking to the East instead of the traditional West for financial assistance and better terms of trade,a plot was hatched to ensure that Kibaki administration does not secure a second term in office. Immediately Steadman got hooked into this elaborate plot. Their brief was to systematically and continuously create certain politicians,finish others and at the same time shape the thinking and opinion of Kenyans. Some sections of the mainstream media were also hooked into the plot. Their brief was to give publicity to the Steadman activities and also to reinforce their assertions.

Hon Raila Odinga was identified as the man to bring down Kibaki. This is because he was perceived to be the most charismatic and had also a bitter axe to grind with Kibaki after the dishonoring of the MOU. However,before anything,the ground had to be prepared in order to create a formidable opposition for President Kibaki. The Kamba community was identified as a community that could easily throw their support behind Kibaki and hence consolidate his grip on power. This is because contrary to popular believes members of the Akamba community are actually close cousins of Kikuyus,however,successful regimes have successful planted powerful wedge between the two communities to ensure that they never come up with a formidable unit pact.

That is the reason why Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka was created by Steadman as a presidential material. Steadman carried many opinion polls that showed Kalonzo way above anybody else as the most popular presidential candidate. This was in spite of the fact that there were no discernable fundamentals that appeared to reinforce Kalonzo’s national popularity. The idea here was actually to create a king for the Kamba community so that they are not tempted to embrace president Kibaki hence keeping them firmly in opposition. At the same time Hon. Kaluki Ngilu had to be finished politically,since she was friendlier toward the Kibaki administration.

The other region that was closely marked was western Kenya . The Bukusu community was perceived to be close to Kibaki government since most MPs from the area were members of Kibaki’s cabinet. A plot was therefore hatched to weaken and disorganize their leaders. That explains why in spite of Hon. Musikari Kombo being a powerful cabinet minister and a leader of a the biggest party in western Kenya i.e Ford Kenya,has never featured prominently in any Steadman opinion poll. Instead,it was Musalia Mudavadi who was propped up as a credible leader in spite of the fact that he never even made it to parliament in 2002 General Election. The idea here was actually to paint Kombo as a weak leader who is not even worth being followed even by members of his Bukusu community and in extension to weaken Kibaki stronghold of Western Kenya and in particular the Bukusu community.

Hon. William Ruto was earmarked and identified as the man who would rally the Kalenjin community. This was because former President Moi was perceived as hostile to Raila Odinga and would refuse to play ball when the time comes. However,Ruto’s brief was slightly different from that of others. He was perceived as very ambitious,intelligent and aggressive. He therefore had to be seriously managed so that he does not end up up-staging project Raila. Steadman opinion polls had therefore to be manipulated to ensure that William Ruto could not command a respectable following even within his Rift Valley province leave alone the National scale. Using Steadman and sections of the media such as Kass FM,Raila Odinga was portrayed as being even more popular in the Rift Valley than Ruto himself. The idea here was to ensure that Ruto does not get tempted to contest for the Presidency and hence split the Kalenjin vote. And to deflate his ego completely,a plot was hatched to deny him visa to travel abroad ensuring that he could not raise funds to finance a presidential campaign. He was therefore forced to capitulate and back project Raila Odinga.

Musalia Mudavadi on the other hand was perceived as a lame duck easy to push and with no significant political connections and networks of his own. However,for him to be useful to project Raila Odinga,he had to be repackaged and portrayed as the most important leader of the Luhya community. Steadman started featuring him in their manipulated opinion polls,a section of the media was also roped in to rebuild his image and paint him as the King of Luhyas.

Toward the countdown of the General elections Steadman started running scare crow opinion polls showing that President Kibaki was way ahead of his opponent in the presidential contest. Many of unsuspecting Kenyans kept on believing these manipulated polls. Least did they know their real intention. The real intentions of these polls were not to give the actual condition on the ground but to scare the wrangling opposition to unite so that they could have a chance of beating Kibaki.

The well designed political scheme of foreigners fronted by Steadman,appeared to be going as per plan however,a hitch cropped up. Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka,started to rebel and was refusing to support project Raila. Steadman had build him too much and had eventually lost control of him. They had unwittingly actually made him believe that he could be president. To deal with him,they had to start lowering his opinion rating and at the same time raising those of Raila in order to coerce him to play ball. However,Kalonzo held his ground and eventually broke off taking with him ODM Kenya.

In July Steadman manipulated opinion polls. President Kibaki was placed ahead of his rivals at 40%,Kalonzo at 13%,Raila at 25%,Musalia at 8%,Ruto at 6% Balala at 1% and Uhuru at 1%.If you add up Raila’s,Mudavadi’s,Ruto’s and Balala’s percentages,they amount to 40%. However,immediately after the stage managed ODM Kasarani nomination in september,Raila’s ratings shot up to 47% while Kalonzos dropped to 8% and Kibaki to 38%. This scenario does not absolutely make sense. However,the idea here was now to paint Raila Odinga as having taken an un-sailable lead as the General election entered the home stretch. The other motive was to paint Kalonzo as a non entity and coerce him either to rejoin project Raila so as to reduce the contest to a two horse race as per the original script or to relegate him to political oblivion. That explains why Steadman has consistently given Kalonzo 8%,this is unlikely to change up to the election date. And to reinforce the Steadman polls propaganda,the foreign masters had to look for apparent independent opinion pollsters,that is how Infotrack Harris and Strategic Research were brought into the fray. Their brief was actually to collaborate the Steadman findings and hence legitimize the fraud.

As we race toward the General Election countdown,Steadman,Infotrack Harris and Strategic Research will continue working in concert by manipulating opinion of Kenyans to paint Raila Odinga as the man who will win the Elections. It does not matter how much efforts that both Kibaki and Kalonzo will put on the ground,the situation as per this merchants for hire shallow not shift significantly. The ultimate aim is to shape Kenyans opinion by brain washing them over time that Raila Odinga has won the race. Hence discouraging them from voting for Kibaki,or from voting at all.


antonio said...

interesting piece.
when i started reading this blog about an year ago i honestly believed kumekucha to be non-partisan but as the elections have neared your true colors have shown.
i never post comments but today have posted about akina KJ and your reaction to steadman.

For akina KJ i believe we should be the miracle and i am proud of them for not just siting and talking but for geting their hands dirty.

I worked in 2002 for a political party and i was only 20 then so imagine if there were more of us?!

def i feel betrayed by the outcome but i still believe in the dream!

As for steadman...kumekucha is turning out to be a raila odinga mouthpiece and campign tool and thats so sad because you have spent awhile growing your brand so to speak..

i cant vouch for staedman but i always find it funny how they are only castigted by the losers who then praise it when it favours them.

raila had this election won but he is not used to being the nimber one so he is making uncharacteristic mistakes and reacting to PNU which is sooo unlike him.

His blunders are...majimbo,MOU with the muslims and reckless ta/accusations(which make him came across as a whinner like kalonzo).

my advice to him is to go on one of his many abroad trips and the PNU guys will go back to shouting themselves in the foot.

as for you kumekucha...please maintain the quality of the blog coz elections come and go but we all remain.

dont publish rumours!or can you show as the state house vistors roll?

Taabu said...

You cannot fight scince and you remain safe by not delving into matter you are least informed about. Opinion polls are just that OPINONs. What they would make people's neck wet with sweat I have no idea. Out politics generates so much heat with little light so much so that one would be forgiven to imagine we are permanently at war with ourselves.

Kenyan politics is one unique with its unique untruths packaged as propaganda. Ati Tom Wolf slapped at SH and he is an American? Try another one. May be coarsed into bending poll results but trust an American NOT to be intimidated unlawfully in a 3rd world country. That by no means smacks off any trace of superiority simplex.

First lady can go beserk all the much she cares with or partially in clothes. But she knows when her actions can persuade hell to pay her and family a visit.

PS: The truth is that results from different samples are not comparable leave alone generalizable. Ask Vikii. It amounts to comparing apples and oranges.

Vikii said...

"Raila Finally Hummers Kalonzo" was the Standard's headline when their childhood dream came true. We discussed that poll here and I said that I fully endorsed the Steadman poll even to the extent of the exact percentages (I can reproduce that if challenged to). I am saying this lest I be called EXPEDIENT.

In my honest and very HUMBLE opinion, the ODM supporters just as their leaders(personified by Anyang Nyong'o) are a one bunch of dishonest loudmouths. Anyang Nyong'o, kumekucha, a big part of its readership and their DREAM paper The Standard, only had negative stuff to say about steadman before that time. After the Hummering, the poll became worth of analysis here at kumekucha, it found a lot of praise by the likes of Anyang Nyong'o and it even became front page news for the Standard who had even stopped writing about it. That continued until last week when the credibility of the pollster became the subject of much negative discussion. Of course these are very clever people and this is all by design---It is all designed to counter the true depiction of the reality that will be sinking in in a fortnight. It is called pre-empting, a game the ODM are so good at.

If Steadman is indeed corruptible, then doesnt it mean that even Raila Odinga's lead in the last four polls should be disregarded? It could very well have been the result of coaxing as Mr. Phil wants us to believe is the case now coz honestly nobody knows whether Ida Odinga slapped Dr.Wolf before Raila's ratings miraculously jumped from 25% to 45%.Do these guys only become incredulous when Raila Odinga's ratings begin to fall? Raila implied last year he was trailing because it was a beauty contest and at that time he was the ugliest. Somewhere along the way, it either stopped being a beauty contest or he underwent some very successful plastic surgery to beat everybody else in the looks department. Now, there is a new twist, Come on guys and be gracious even in times of hopelessness.

The way Phil and his little friends in the ODM analyse Kenya's politics speaks volumes of what kind of people they are and I am not afraid to say that. That is why you will always hear stuff like Mboya was the best thing to ever happen in Kenya, Robert Ouko was the only meaningful Foreign Affairs minister Kenya ever knew, Oginga Odinga gifted Kenyatta with the presidency, Raila Odinga made Mwai Kibaki president,...,Charity Ngilu was the best health minister in post independence Kenya (never mind she had to defect first in order to win the prize.)

All this dishonesty is what has made me very wary of these brothers who always offer high sounding rhetoric on what they think is desirable alternative to the status quo. I agree that we need to be constructively critical of the status quo but i also believe that to do so, one needs a high degree of emotional intelligence. And that's just my opinion.

Phil said...

Piga debe kwa ODM-K Vikii. None of us has any control over opinion polls. But recent events, eg. Steadman moving the goal posts, brings more questions than answers. This ranting will not affect the peoples desire for change.

By the way, plenty of side shows have taken place in State House since the occupants moved in. Last week, it was Mama Ngilu confessing that even her was slapped by "you-know-who" when at State House for official duties. Ask any one who works there, they will tell you a lot goes unreported.

Proud Kikuyu Woman said...

Nice attempt, Philemon Othieno Wesonga/Phillip Doila/Phil (sorry, BB/Mwalimu/Taabu:the boy is old enough-he can speak for himself)

Nice because finally you and I agree that we cannot entirely trust the polls, and only Kenyans will decide. To use your cliche, Kenyans are not fools, just wait and see how not fools they are after Dec 27.

Its an attempt because:

1) You quote numerous 'unconfirmed reports', some of whose sources are right here on Kumekucha under anonymous tags-can't you see I'm capable of seeing the obvious?

2) Even if these reports were confirmed by ODM, KTN and Standard Newspapers, 'no one -inside ODM?-is guilty of anything until proven so by a court of law'. Your argument.

3) How am I to trust your judgment when it swings from one extreme to the other, like you have some bipolar disorder that's tied to opinion polls? With those hands you vehemently dismissed the polls when Raila temporarily occupied third place. Wait until he is 2 points ahead of Kalonzo, I couldn't hear any alternative voice on top of the din to celebrate the 'results'. Above 50%, do I say,that's when we were hummered! Still 4 points ahead but sinking-"Raila still tops". At the slightest indication that he is headed south, unconfirmed reports, phone calls, state house summons,and whatever other tail we are yet to hear? Your argument is flawed brother. Maybe you should go back to 'tribe', majimbo, ugatuzi and somehow make the MOU disappear.

By the way, have you ever heard of people squaring it out on the street by shouting 'mwizi! mwizi!' and then some poor chap is lynched by the mob in the name of justice? What you are drumming up support for here is street justice-Its the Kikuyu against the rest of Kenya,
its GEMA versus the rest of Kenya, the first lady is slapping weak Americans around. Toa hiyo weka ingine.

Anonymous said...

Am a student scientist at RMIT in Melbourne and I think in all honesty that Steadman has lost credibility.

Steadman have been very consistent and professional even the time Kibaki was leading observers attributed that to the fact that ODM was not united and had a plethora of candidates and at most its future was uncertain. Even Raila had high ratings when 70% of those interviewed preferred him for the PM's post if created then.

After the formal presidential launches the opinions changed rightly so because the race has finally began to shape up.

I have no qualms with Steadman's latest ratings but why are they discarding the scientific logic that they have based their samplings on? If the latest sampling done using registered voters is the correct one then they should not shy from telling us that the previous polls have been faulty and hence not worth any consideration. It is also fishy for a reputable firm like Steadman to abuse the scientific principle of transparency and evidence when they fail to show how the samples were distributed and whether quality was controlled by ensuring that the interviewees were indeed registered voters hence the sample was not poisoned.

But i think it is too late, Steadman has lost credibility, they have dived head-first into the murky waters of politics!

Vikii said...

No Phil. I am thinking may be I need to tell you what I think of these damn polls. We obviously see it differently. As far as I am concerned, they are done with the aim of giving a true picture of what the real one may be like. When you question why they changed the parameters and go ahead and say that had it been the same old ones, then Raila would be leading with a 20% margin, I ask myself: What is your interest in this?---Is it seeing Raila with an out-of the-sea lead or is it seeing a poll that trully reflects all the dynamics likely to play out in the real poll?

Steadman may have changed their estimators, but was it for the better or for the worse statistically speaking? Do you honestly believe that any forecasting towards these polls should be done based on mere population or on registered voters? Let me tell you the truth Phil and it is what you hate to hear, these elections will be won by the turn out as Prof Wolf tells you. They will not be won on how many favourable comments one gets in blogs. In fact even the provincial registered voters is not anywhere near accurate estimation because different provinces are occupied by entirely different communities with very different priorities. A case in mind is eastern which constitutes a voting machine like Meru-Embu, a moderate like Ukambani and low voter turn out group commonly referred to as Upper eastern. All these three are loyal to different parties. What I am saying here is that if we get to the nitty gritty of who is more likely to vote, you will be shocked by how big Raila's loss would be. It will just be shocking.

Now do you want us to engage in Nyatanga rumours of who was slapped in state house? What were they doing there in the first place? Do you want me to list people here SLAPPED by your darling Ngilu? (And mine is not based on stuff i read here). Ngilu is the least qualified to talk about this subject, Phil. Let's ignore her and talk about something else.

Taabu said...

Vikii BB here. Did you say ....Steadman may have changed their estimators..?

I hope that was a slip of fingers on the KB. Please rectify speedily lest you incur my wrath (e-cop) for misinforming Kumekuchans. You know sampling schemes and parameters can be changed but neither ESTIMATORS nor ESTIMATES? Measure up to the trust and responsibility bro, won't you?

Vikii said...

What exactly do you understand by biased and unbiased estimators Mwalimu Taabu? What would you call estimators here: The registered voters, the Kenyan population or the sample of 2712? In my opinion, the turn-out would be a parameter. My question is what would you call the actual registered voters?

Well, I am waiting for your lead on this and I will be glad to correct it and thank you but you need to give me your take first. Will you?

Taabu said...

Stop pulling my leg(s) Vikii. You know there is a HELL of difference between ESTIMATOR/ESTIMAND/ESTIMATE. The first is a function whose application on a specific smaple produces the last while the middle is the populations's parameter of interest. Stil waiting for your correction because I know you know but only being 'CHEEKY'. Oveer to you bro, waiting!

Vikii said...

I was not being cheeky, I honestly dint know but now I do.I am beaten. thanks bro for the correction.

"Steadman may have changed the composition of their sampl but".....How does that sound?

Taabu said...

Thanks bro Vikii. Owning up takes substance and integrity. FYI once you change the composition of your sample (units) you CANNOT compare it to any other. Moveove generalizing the results to be representative of the population is FRAUDULENT at best. That settles it lets move on.

PS: Education's purpose is to replace an EMPTY mind with an open one. Caveat? Although both aspects are elementless (singleton) one is RECEPTIVE (open=Vikii) while the other (closed=????) is repulsive of what they don't know and cannot conquer due to fear of the unknown. Good night bro, usingizi nono.

macs34 said...

I knew something was wrong somewhere, with this latest poll!

for one; (if am wrong let me know)there was no reason given as to why raila dropped 5% points and though am brought to understand that kibaki's gain is due to dishing out goodies!

secondly; there was something said in here about manipulation of the polls so that kalonzo would join PNU and become a rich dude billionair...
if all this can hold waters then, we really dont need steadman!

Anonymous said...

People, i have read the above story and the ensuing comments and i,m led to conclude one thing, and that is we Kenyans choose to believe what we want and what doesn't fit our psyche we disregard. first the above story was clearly written 'unconfirmed' reports,so are we confirming them or what? Secondly i work in the media research field and i don't doubt steadman's polls. I happened to have the opportunity to be present at the last two press briefings and part of the problem when it comes to the understanding of opinion polls is the media. Unlike other fields e.g business and sports, there are no trained reporters on opinion polls. During the press briefings Steadman usually releases an entire report that even indicates the voting patterns in each district, including other research indicators which are not political, but the media is very selective when it reports the findings and deliberately leaves out other parts of the report, calling it an election opinion poll, when the right term is socio political poll, infact the term used is SPEC BAROMETER. The survey conducted by the group are not only political but answer many other social questions that many commercial organizations want to know in regards to the economy, religion, security...and you'd be surprised at the amount of money these organizations pay to get the data.It is these organizations that pay the funds used to conduct the research. Each organization offers various socioeconomic or political queries they would like to find out about and all this questions are lumped together and the research done. But the perception we get is that it,s all about the elections, and by the way this kind of research began way before the referendum, and i'd like to tell my anonymous friend to find other ways of campaigning for ODM, like for instance wearing a Raila T-Shirt or something. He says that steadman conveniently choose to say that they predicted the referendum, the truth is that they did.Before the actual polling was done, steadman gave their poll results to the media houses with a pass word, the pass word was to be given to the media house after the referendum results were released. And as it were the results were accurate,32% and 46% is the same as 57% and 43%, the difference in each case being 14%, unless my brother or sister doesn't have as much math as he does English.
On the question of changing their methodology, steadman did not change the actual method but only made it more real to reflect or predict what the scenario may look like. When you use a base that is composed of Kenyan Adults only (+18) and you ask them who they would prefer as their president its a bit different from asking Kenyan adults (+18) with voters cards. The latter gives a more clearer picture, but at the same time it still makes sense to ask all Kenyan Adults who they'd prefer as their candidate. This is what has changed in the opinion polls, steadman decided to ask only those with voters cards to give a more closer prediction. So if you ask me all this is just propaganda to ensure kumekucha gets more hits, have you people ever asked yourselves how much money this guy gets from this blog? did you maybe think that he cleverly makes up this stories to ensure you all get fired up and keep posting comments not mentioning visiting this blog every other day. The CEO and Wolfe himself dismissed the allegations before the press last Friday as they were releasing the results. I'd also like to tell the guy from Melbourne,that Steadman showed how the poll sample was distributed across each district based on previous voter estimates, and they clearly made the distinction between popularity ratings and election predictions what we have been seeing previously were popularity ratings who's base comprised adult Kenyans (with National ID) but for the recent election polls which they have been releasing at two week intervals the changed the base to only those with voters cards to give a true reflection. All this was very well highlighted to the press in a briefing that lasted over an hour. But unfortunately we don't get all this in the press, they choose only what fits their editorial policy or is it slant. So people lets stop being led by our politicians and begin leading ourselves, we follow a bunch of guys who by all estimations have failed, trying so hard to make them look like saints. Thats why corruption looting insecurity will always be with us even if the so called third and final liberation comes to. By the way has anybody seen the latest ad about Raila and Mudavadi statement interesting times these are. Vote Wisely.

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