According to Yeltsin election aide Vyacheslav Nikonov, the Yeltsin campaign has two key strategies for the second round. First is maximizing the turn-out. "The higher the turn-out, the better for Yeltsin. A turn-out of 70 percent would mean that Yeltsin was home free", Nikonov says. (BBC interview, June 17) The second is coalition-building. Yeltsin has already struck a deal with Lebed in the hope of attracting his 14 million supporters; now he is courting candidates who won smaller numbers of votes in round one — Grigory Yavlinsky, Svyatoslav Fedorov and smaller fry. The deal with Lebed will not be enough on its own since exit polls showed that some 40 percent of Lebed’s voters cast protest votes and will vote in the second round either for Gennady Zyuganov or against both candidates.
Voter apathy is the greatest danger for Yeltsin: Zyuganov’s electorate is believed to be more disciplined than Yeltsin’s and more likely to turn out to vote in the second round. The nightmare of the Yeltsin team is a repetition of last month’s gubernatorial elections in St. Petersburg, where Anatoly Sobchak led in the first round but was defeated in the second. Analysts calculate that a turnout of 67-68 percent in the second round is the critical line: if turnout is higher than that, Yeltsin is likely to win, if it is lower, Zyuganov should win. Zyuganov’s main problem is trying to increase his support base. The results of the first round showed that his electorate has remained static since the December 1995 parliamentary elections and Zyuganov badly needs to find additional sources of votes.
Yeltsin Wins Fedorov’s Endorsement; Zyuganov Fishes for Lebed’s, Loses Zhirinovsky’s.