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

By Patrick Burke | August 24, 2012 | 11:09 AM EDT

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

The Russian newspaper Kommersant 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.

In addition to not wanting Putin, 7 percent of respondents said they want current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to replace Putin as president, but 49 percent want a new candidate.

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

The poll included 1,601 people 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 the 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.