Putin’s Approval Rating Slumps

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has fallen back to the record-low levels of December 2011, Kommersant daily reported on Friday, citing a survey published by Russian independent pollster Levada Center.

Putin, who is barely 100 days into his third presidential term, saw his approval rating slump to 63 percent in August, 4 percentage points lower than in July. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s approval rating fell 2 points to 57 percent.

The latest ratings are on a par with those in December 2011, when mass demonstrations broke out over alleged vote-rigging in parliamentary elections.

More than a third of respondents in the latest survey disapproved of the performance of Putin (35 percent) and Medvedev (41 percent).

Just 22 percent said they would vote for Putin if he ran for another presidential term in 2018; 7 percent said they would support Medvedev. About half – 49 percent – want someone else, up from 43 percent in March. Another 22 percent were undecided.

Mikhail Vinogradov, the chairman of the St. Petersburg Politics Fund, said the numbers indicated growing “voter fatigue” with Putin. But the president “need not take these numbers too close to heart until a clear alternative to him appears,” Vinogradov added.

“In six years, he will have been in power for 18 years. Everybody understands that and there will be more fatigue,” said Alexei Grazhdankin, deputy head of Levada Center. However, when people talk about their desire to vote for “someone else,” Grazhdankin added, they “assume that there will be ‘someone else.’” But in March 2012, when Putin won election to a third term, there was “no one.”


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