Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 41

According to a poll of 1,584 Russian citizens conducted in mid-February by the All-Russia Center for Public Opinion Research (also known by the Russian acronym VTsIOM) the Communist party candidate is well ahead, with 17 percent of those polled saying they would vote for him as president. Zyuganov’s rating is up from 11 percent in January. Next was ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, with 9 percent (up from 7 percent in January). Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky has lost support, dropping to 8 percent from 11 percent in January. Though Yavlinsky remains ahead of incumbent president Boris Yeltsin, YeltsinÕs rating rose to 7 percent in February, up from his all-time low of 5 percent in January. Only 13 percent of those polled said they did not plan to vote, and 26 percent said they had not yet made up their minds for whom to vote. The poll made it clear, once again, that ZyuganovÕs core vote comes from pensioners and the unemployed, who dream that a Communist president will turn the clock back so that life will be as it was in the days of Leonid Brezhnev. But 21 percent of those polled viewed the idea of a Communist victory with equanimity, saying little would change under a Communist leader. Only 5 percent thought a Communist victory would threaten a return to Stalinism, while 16 percent (mainly independent business people) predicted Òdisaster and chaos.Ó As many as 41 percent, however, said they did not know what would happen. (6)

Democrats Remain at Odds on Presidential Candidate.