Poll: Nearly Half of Russians Don’t Want Putin for Another Term

By Patrick Burke | August 24, 2012 | 10:53 AM EDT

In this photo taken Tuesday, July 31, 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with pro-Kremlin youth activists at a camp at a bank of Seliger Lake in Tver region, Russia. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

(CNSNews.com) - A new poll conducted by the independent Levada Center in Russia finds that 49 percent of Russians do not want President Vladimir Putin to receive a second term, a 6 point increase from March of this year.

The Russian newspaper Kommersant daily reported that 22 percent of poll respondents would like to see Putin retain the presidency once his term ends in 2018.

Moreover, 35 percent disapprove of Putin’s performance in his third term as President, and 41 percent disapprove of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

About 7 percent of respondents want current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to replace Putin as president, with 49 percent wanting a new candidate.

The approval ratings of both Putin and Medvedev remain over 50 percent, with Putin at 63 percent approval. However, this is 4 points lower than his approval in July.

The poll’s sample was made up of 1,601 persons in 130 communities and 45 different regions of Russia.

The poll is an indicator of Putin’s decreased popularity since December 2011, when his approval rating dropped below 50 percent amid protests over alleged rigging of parliamentary elections.

Putin was first elected president of Russia in March, 2000 and then switched over to Prime Minister in 2008. He was recently sworn in as president for a third term in May, 2012.