Date: 29 March 2020

Putin’s Popularity Ratings Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak

Two Russian public opinion research centers have unveiled two different president’s popularity ratings. A survey by state-run VTsIOM found that Russian people consolidate themselves around state authorities in the time of crisis, thus as expected. Vladimir Putin is now facing a chance to fight down a downward trend and its recent slip in approval ratings that began back in 2018 after raising of the retirement age and tax hikes. The president’s visit to the infectious diseases hospital, then followed by a televised address to the nation, boosted his popularity ratings, the pollster said. But another Russian polling company the president’s ratings are dropping.


VTsIOM poll could somewhat show that the Kremlin’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak proved accurate. On March 25, Vladimir Putin has declared that the week from March 28 to April 5 will be a nationwide paid holiday to encourage Russians to stay at home, and he postponed a vote on proposed constitutional amendments, which had been planned for April 22. Shortly after, the president’s approval ratings grew to 63.5 percent from 60.3 percent a week before. Also, 69 percent of respondents said they trusted the Russian leader, contrary to 67 percent a week earlier. A survey by the state-funded pollster known as VTsIOM found that 67 percent of people said they trusted Putin more than any other politician. Asked about political party preference, 32.5 percent of respondents chose United Russia, 14.2 percent would vote for the Communist Party while 11.5 percent and 5.7 percent of people opted for the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and A Just Russia, respectively.

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Also, leaders of the last three groupings came at the fore of politicians whom people trust most. Nonetheless, the state-owned FOM polling agency’s survey unveiled something different. The Russian leader has had their job ratings climb to 60 percent following his televised speech, down from 65 percent. Putin’s result in trust ratings slipped from 60 percent to 56 percent. Also, 49 percent said they disapprove of the job the Russian prime minister is doing, up from 45 percent sometime earlier. The poll found that 45 percent of people are against the ruling United Russia party while it currently attracts 41 percent of decided voters.

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