Lovely Levada

As long time readers probably know, I’m a bit of a sucker for statistics, and I’ve recently found a site that I’ll no doubt be sucking dry from now on. Levada Center is Russia’s foremost polling company (equivalent to America’s Gallup), and releases a poll or two every workday. However, unfortunately their English language version is quite limited, so I’ll be using the Russian. I present…

Putin’s Presidency in Polls

1. What impression do you have of Putin? (favorable, unfavorable, don’t know) As is well known, Putin is one of the very few world leaders in history to have retained his popularity throughout his entire two terms, which is reflected in assessments of his achievements. SOURCE

2. In your opinion, is Russia moving in the right direction? (agree, disagree) SOURCE

3. Have you and your family adapted to the changes in Russia over the past 10 years? (yes, will soon, never) SOURCE

4. Are you confident about tomorrow? (yes, no) SOURCE

5. Are you on the whole satisfied with what is happening in Russia? (satisfied, not satisfied) While the majority has remained unsatisfied throughout most of Putin’s Presidency, since mid-2006 there does seem to have occured a tipping point in national morale (as also reflected in 4., 6., and 7.). SOURCE

6. Are you satisfied with the government’s handling of the economy? (satisfied, not satisfied) SOURCE

7. How satisfied are you with the situation on morals and respect in in society? (satisfied, not satisfied) It seems that very few Russians are satisfied on this point, which is not surprising given, say, crime rates – the homicide rate even today is around three times greater than in the US (6 to 18 / 100,000). Nonetheless, as with homicides, there seems to be a reversal of this trend. SOURCE

8. Dynamics of family subjective material wellbeing for the last year (index compiled as difference between positive and negative marks plus 100) This is quite strange – although the dynamics are understandable (there was a financial crisis in 1998), the fact that more people keep saying they get poorer than get richer is harder to explain, considering that average real wages have increased by a factor of 2.6 in 2000-2007 and that fewer people consider themselves to be poor today as compared to seven years prior (see 10.). SOURCE

9. Will your life improve in the next 6 months? (better, same, worse) Illustrates continued apathy and pessimism in Russians’ lives. SOURCE

10. Subjective perceptions of poverty in Russia (% of population; poor, very poor) Note that generally speaking people compare themselves to their neighbors in defining poverty. Since 2000, poverty defined as earning less than the minimum subsistence level has more than halved. SOURCE

11. National Mood Index (Jan 1998 = 100%) (average of several measures of personal wellbeing and national prospects in economics, politics and society) Are we seeing a second upwards tipping point? Time will tell. SOURCE

12. Index of Trust in the Presidency, Index of Economic Optimism, Index of National Wellbeing. SOURCE

13. Russia-US relations index (difference between positive and negative perceptions) With the exception of two downwards spikes coinciding with anti-Serbia and anti-Iraq aggression, Russians have been positive towards the US. Nonetheless, there has been a generalized and significant downwards slope since 2000, reflecting deteriorating US-Russian relations. Prepare for a third spike if, however unlikely, Ukraine and Georgia get a MAP during the current NATO summit. SOURCE

14. Russia-EU relations index (difference between positive and negative perceptions) Russias view the EU much more favorably than the US, although there has been a gentle downwards slope (the New Cold War and deranged Russophobic neocons are not limited to Yankee shores). SOURCE

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