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Russia Elections 2018: A Clearer Picture
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After the surprise Communist candidacy of Pavel Grudinin, the main question was always going to be whether he would merely inherit Zyuganov’s ratings – or climb well above them by invigorating Russians with the prospect of a new face in politics.

We had to wait a couple of weeks longer than usual due to the New Year holidays, but we now have our answer with the release of the first elections poll to include him.

vciom-poll-russia-elections

Here is how the numbers now look according to VCIOM:

  • Putin – 81.1%;
  • Zhirinovsky (nationalist) – 4.2%;
  • Grudinin (communist) – 7.6% (Zyuganov had been at 3.3%);
  • Sobchak (liberal) – 0.7%
  • other people (mostly libs) – 1.6%
  • will spoil ballot – 0.4%
  • can’t say – 4.4%

It is also worth noting that the percentage of people saying they will “definitely” come to vote fell from 70% to 67%. This might be in response to Navalny’s call to boycott the vote.

Comments:

1. Unless he turns out to be very unlikeable on the TV cameras in the next couple of months, or experiences some other major scandal, then Grudinin – contrary to my expectations before this poll – will almost certainly do better than Zhirinovsky after all.

2. Incidentally, our resident Ukrainophiles should be happy with this development – in his recent debate with Zhirinovsky, Grudinin as much as implied that the “Russian World” was equivalent to fascism, and for all intents and purposes defended the Ukraine’s new language laws (“we should not fall to provocations”). This comports with the gathering evidence that he is the most pro-Ukrainian candidate in this race apart from the liberal candidate Sobchak, who, like Navalny, does not even unambiguously recognize the Crimea as part of Russia. Tellingly, in one of his recent shows, Grudinin was the only candidate to whom Navalny showed a somewhat positive disposition, even if he still rejected him as a “real” candidate.

And this was the guy nominated not just by the Left Front and the KPRF, but also by one of the more prominent national-patriotic organizations (NPSR). No wonder Igor Strelkov quit soon afterwards in disgust.

3. Renewed prediction [old predictions]:

  • Putin – 78% (down from 80%)
  • Zhirinovsky – 7% (down from 8%)
  • Grudinin – 13% (up from Zyuganov’s 7%)
  • Sobchak – 3%

Due to the apparent excitement around the new face, turnout might also be slightly higher than the minimally low 60% I was expecting at the start of the year.

I continue to very much doubt the kremlins will be able to fulfill the first part of their “70/70″ goal (70% turnout, 70% Putin), unless they really go overboard with the fraud this year.

Regardless, his candidacy appears to have been a great play by the Presidential Administration, raising interest in the elections, deflating the impact of Navalny’s calls to boycott them, and presenting no real threat to the Kremlin while sowing further division into the nationalist ranks.

 
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  1. Are Zhirinovsky’s personal foibles holding back Russian nationalism?

    Should he step aside for the good of the cause?

    If so, who is available to take his place as the nationalist candidate?

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  2. What is the deal with Zhirinovsky and his tie always looking so untidy? Is this an act like Boris Johnsons hair to make him stick out as an eccentric.

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  3. 2. Incidentally, our resident Ukrainophiles should be happy with this development –

    I’ll cop to an affection for Ukrainian liturgy and folk art. That aside, though, by ‘Ukrainophiles’ do you mean people who:

    1. Don’t harbor the illusion that the Ukraine is run by Nazis; and

    2. Don’t think there’s a valid argument for Russia to conquer the Ukraine; and

    3. Don’t think it’s in Russia’s best interest to conquer or harass the Ukraine?

    Just asking for a friend.

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  4. It is also worth noting that the percentage of people saying they will “definitely” come to vote fell from 70% to 67%. This might be in response to Navalny’s call to boycott the vote.

    Still shilling for Navalny?
    Percentage of people who are saying that they will definitely not vote did also fall (4% -> 3%).
    What increased is the share of people who have not decide yet whether they should vote or not.

    …contrary to my expectations before this poll…

    You seem to be biased against Grudinin which made you underestimate him.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I merely assumed that Zyuganov's rating would carry over to the new person, as in fact happened in 2004 (while also allowing that it might increase since Russians might be getting tired of seeing the same old face). There was absolutely nothing wrong in that approach.

    I have expressed my dispreference for Navalny on numerous occasions, yet I am somehow "shilling" for him while "underestimating" Grudinin because I am "biased" against him.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. @Mitleser

    It is also worth noting that the percentage of people saying they will “definitely” come to vote fell from 70% to 67%. This might be in response to Navalny’s call to boycott the vote.
     
    Still shilling for Navalny?
    Percentage of people who are saying that they will definitely not vote did also fall (4% -> 3%).
    What increased is the share of people who have not decide yet whether they should vote or not.

    ...contrary to my expectations before this poll...
     
    You seem to be biased against Grudinin which made you underestimate him.

    I merely assumed that Zyuganov’s rating would carry over to the new person, as in fact happened in 2004 (while also allowing that it might increase since Russians might be getting tired of seeing the same old face). There was absolutely nothing wrong in that approach.

    I have expressed my dispreference for Navalny on numerous occasions, yet I am somehow “shilling” for him while “underestimating” Grudinin because I am “biased” against him.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    I merely assumed that Zyuganov’s rating would carry over to the new person, as in fact happened in 2004 (while also allowing that it might increase since Russians might be getting tired of seeing the same old face).
     
    You also assumed that Zhirinovsky would outperform Grudinin despite being even more of an old face than Zyuganov.

    I have expressed my dispreference for Navalny on numerous occasions, yet I am somehow “shilling” for him while “underestimating” Grudinin because I am “biased” against him
     
    Your dispreference for Grudinin is more fundamental, hence you are more willing to give the notion that Navalny has still quite noticeable national influence a chance, more than Grudinin doing well.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. @Anatoly Karlin
    I merely assumed that Zyuganov's rating would carry over to the new person, as in fact happened in 2004 (while also allowing that it might increase since Russians might be getting tired of seeing the same old face). There was absolutely nothing wrong in that approach.

    I have expressed my dispreference for Navalny on numerous occasions, yet I am somehow "shilling" for him while "underestimating" Grudinin because I am "biased" against him.

    I merely assumed that Zyuganov’s rating would carry over to the new person, as in fact happened in 2004 (while also allowing that it might increase since Russians might be getting tired of seeing the same old face).

    You also assumed that Zhirinovsky would outperform Grudinin despite being even more of an old face than Zyuganov.

    I have expressed my dispreference for Navalny on numerous occasions, yet I am somehow “shilling” for him while “underestimating” Grudinin because I am “biased” against him

    Your dispreference for Grudinin is more fundamental, hence you are more willing to give the notion that Navalny has still quite noticeable national influence a chance, more than Grudinin doing well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    You also assumed that Zhirinovsky would outperform Grudinin despite being even more of an old face than Zyuganov.
     
    Unlike Zyuganov, Zhirinovsky at least has character. People want to see him and read about him (if rarely in a positive way). NOGAF about Zyuganov.

    Your dispreference for Grudinin is more fundamental, hence you are more willing to give the notion that Navalny has still quite noticeable national influence a chance, more than Grudinin doing well.
     
    Okay, look, people might not like Navalny, but they are interested in him in a way that they are not interested in Zyuganov or the damp rag Medvedev.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DP6HjmSXcAEATFq.jpg

    No I don't like it, but the banal reality is that Navalny is the only Russian politician apart from Putin.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. @Mitleser

    I merely assumed that Zyuganov’s rating would carry over to the new person, as in fact happened in 2004 (while also allowing that it might increase since Russians might be getting tired of seeing the same old face).
     
    You also assumed that Zhirinovsky would outperform Grudinin despite being even more of an old face than Zyuganov.

    I have expressed my dispreference for Navalny on numerous occasions, yet I am somehow “shilling” for him while “underestimating” Grudinin because I am “biased” against him
     
    Your dispreference for Grudinin is more fundamental, hence you are more willing to give the notion that Navalny has still quite noticeable national influence a chance, more than Grudinin doing well.

    You also assumed that Zhirinovsky would outperform Grudinin despite being even more of an old face than Zyuganov.

    Unlike Zyuganov, Zhirinovsky at least has character. People want to see him and read about him (if rarely in a positive way). NOGAF about Zyuganov.

    Your dispreference for Grudinin is more fundamental, hence you are more willing to give the notion that Navalny has still quite noticeable national influence a chance, more than Grudinin doing well.

    Okay, look, people might not like Navalny, but they are interested in him in a way that they are not interested in Zyuganov or the damp rag Medvedev.

    No I don’t like it, but the banal reality is that Navalny is the only Russian politician apart from Putin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Google statistics don't prove that.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. @Anatoly Karlin

    You also assumed that Zhirinovsky would outperform Grudinin despite being even more of an old face than Zyuganov.
     
    Unlike Zyuganov, Zhirinovsky at least has character. People want to see him and read about him (if rarely in a positive way). NOGAF about Zyuganov.

    Your dispreference for Grudinin is more fundamental, hence you are more willing to give the notion that Navalny has still quite noticeable national influence a chance, more than Grudinin doing well.
     
    Okay, look, people might not like Navalny, but they are interested in him in a way that they are not interested in Zyuganov or the damp rag Medvedev.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DP6HjmSXcAEATFq.jpg

    No I don't like it, but the banal reality is that Navalny is the only Russian politician apart from Putin.

    Google statistics don’t prove that.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

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