JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Trickiest Task In Russian Politics? Reading President Putin’s Poll Numbers” – Forbes/ James Rodgers

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“… [Putin] popularity ratings … have become the subject of … speculation — and … significant reinterpretation. … [m]uch of that popularity … built on rising living standards — especially in the last decade … on the back of soaring prices for … natural resources, especially oil …. Putin’s last … election victory … was judged by [OSCE] observers … to have taken place ‘in an overly controlled environment, marked by continued pressure on critical voices’ … ‘the extensive coverage in most media of the incumbent as president resulted in an uneven playing field.’ … [N]ews that the electorate’s trust in the president had fallen to 31.7% required a response. … the Kremlin had raised the issue with … polling organization, VTsIOM, [who] revised their methodology, and came up with different results. …”

A question has been raised, inside and outside of Russia, about whether Putin will ever step down.  Meanwhile, under Putin, Russia’s relations with the West have grown worse.

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