The Angus Reid consultancy reports that in the most recent Levada Center polling, Kremlin lieutenant/lapdog Dmitry Medvedev has vaulted into first place as the preferred candidate among 1,600 Russian queried, recording 14% support (up from 10% in August, which was down from 10.3% in May). In the last poll, Medvedev was tied at 10% with crypto-fascist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who has now fallen to 8% and is in third place just behind Communist Gennady Zyuganov with 9%. Zhirinovsky is still ahead of the 7.3% support he recorded in May, while Zyuganov improved from 6.8% in May and 8% in August.
So in the 2008 presidential race, which will be by far the most important political event in Russia’s history, nearly one third of Russia’s voters (31%) are content to cast their ballots either for a communist, a fascist or the sycophant of a KGB spy. Isn’t that comforting?
But it gets worse, much worse. In the most recent poll, a nearly equal number of Russians (26%) say that they will not participate in the election at all, while a similar-sized group (27%) indicates that it has no idea who to vote for.
What can we say about the remaining 16% of the population? Well, that is the segment of the Russian popluation that is prepared to participate in the political process with some semblance of intelligence and without voting for a communist, fascist or KGB spy. Who are their preferences? In order, they are Sergei Ivanov (KGB sycophant #2), Vladimir Ryzhkov, Sergei Glazyev (crypto-Communist #2), Grigory Yavlinsky, Mikhail Kasyanov and Dmitry Rogizin (crypto-fascist #2). Among those who actually represent some sort of opposition to dictatorship and continued disaster in Russia, namely Ryzhkov, Yavlinsky and Kasyanov, none received as much as 5% support.
84% of the country, by contrast, seems to feel things are pretty much OK in Russia, certainly nothing to get worked up about. They’re not terribly concerned with an average monthly wage of $300, or with an average male lifespan below 60. They couldn’t care less, really, whether Russia annexes Georgia or fights a war in Ingushetia, and it certainly doesn’t matter to them if their government provokes the USA into a second cold war by sending weapons to arch American foes like Iran and Venezula. The obliteration of genuine news on television, the stranglehold on newspapers, the killing of journalists, these are all things of minor concern at best to your average Russian.