US-backed polling center says Russians want to keep Vladimir Putin

Russia’s president has massive support, while the two ‘opposition’ leaders can’t break 3 percent combined

(The Moscow Times) – More than 50 percent of Russians surveyed in a recent independent poll are ready to give President Vladimir Putin a fourth term in office.

Asked who they’d vote for if the elections were held this Sunday, 53 percent named Putin. One in five couldn’t name who they’d vote for, while one in 10 said they wouldn’t cast ballots.

Of the 1,600 surveyed Russians who said they would vote, two-thirds named Putin.

The Levada Center’s poll showed that 2 percent would vote for opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Russian officials say Navalny is banned from running because of a criminal fraud conviction his supporters say is politically motivated.

Fewer than 1 percent said they’d vote for celebrity Ksenia Sobchak, who announced her candidacy last week. The former reality television presenter topped a separate poll on Thursday of Russia’s least trusted public figures.

Meanwhile, 9 percent said they could vote for Sobchak in the March 18, 2018, elections when asked whether they’d heard of her Oct. 18 announcement.

Russian state television reportedly ran 64 news pieces on Sobchak in the week since she made the announcement. The tally doesn’t include her first appearance on state-run television in years on Wednesday.

Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed by Levada expressed interest in the election.

Levada conducted its survey in 137 towns and cities across 48 Russian regions between Oct. 20 and Oct. 24. Its margin of error doesn’t exceed 3.4 percent.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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