Overview: Russia National Survey
Summary Political Environment
• Voters are extremely dissatisfied with the current situation in Russia. Overall, 87% are dissatisfied and 75% say they are very dissatisfied.
• The economy is seen as the number one problem facing the country. Other perceived problems include quality of life issues, peace, lack of political leadership, and ethnic conflicts.
• Other concerns that receive a substantial number of mentions include inflation, crime, standard of living, the situation in Chechnya, unemployment, general instability in the country, economic decline, and social and moral decay.
• Overall, the electorate displays a low level of interest in politics and government. Fewer than one in three voters (32%) are interested in such matters while 66% say they are not.
• Voters are pessimistic about both the political and economic situations over the next two or three years and a plurality say these areas will worsen during that period.
• Concerns about the economy result in 52% saying that the country should return to a system where the state controls much of the economy while only 17% call for the reform process to continue.
• A plurality of voters, led by young people, now view Russia as a democracy (47%). Many (41 %) do not, however, and this sentiment is the main view among those age 45 and older. Further, only 3% say the country is primarily a democracy.
• Voters are divided on the subject of whether political power in Russia should be centralized (33%) or decentralized (34%).
• The United States (13%) is the number one foreign country Russians look to as a model for the nation's development. A plurality (30%) say that Russia serves as its own best model. Another 7% look to the Soviet Union as a model for development.
• Voters say that Russia would benefit more from an orientation toward the West (28%) than the East (7%). However, 32% say Russia would not benefit from either orientation.
• The media will play a key role in the upcoming elections. A majority of voters (53%) rely on the media for their voting information and National Channel One (87%) and Channel Two (81 %) are perceived as being the most useful. Newspapers (69%) are also seen as an important source.
Read the Full Results.