The latest public opinion poll shows incumbent President Boris Yeltsin edging ahead of his nearest presidential rival for the first time. It finds Yeltsin with the support of 20.7 percent of respondents, compared to 19.8 percent for Communist candidate Gennady Zyuganov. The poll, which was commissioned by America’s Cable News Network and The Moscow Times, was conducted April 10-20 by the Moscow-based CESSI Institute for Comparative Social Research. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points, which makes Yeltsin’s lead statistically insignificant. Nevertheless, publication of the poll will give a needed psychological boost to Yeltsin’s campaign; until now, all polls have shown Yeltsin lagging behind Zyuganov, even though they have also suggested that the gap between the two was closing. "Zyuganov is stable. He has probably consolidated all of his supporters already and has little left in reserve," CESSI director Vladimir Andreenkov was quoted as saying. "But if Yeltsin doesn’t make any big mistakes, he will continue to earn votes." (AP, Itar-Tass, Reuters, UPI, April 23)
…But Zyuganov Reacts Calmly.