Staunton, May 29 – All the governors Vladimir Putin has appointed recently enjoy high ratings and are likely to win in the first round, Moscow pollsters say, but the reasons for this that they give are interesting because of what it says about Russian political attitudes toward their rulers more generally.
Larisa Pautova, head of the Public Opinion Foundation says that “people palce great hopes on the new people in power, people of a new generation and of a new administrative culture, and residents of the regions appreciate this” (znak.com/2019-05-29/sociologi_rasskazali_ob_elektoralnyh_nastroeniyah_v_regionah_gde_smenilis_glavy).
Valery Fedorov, head of the VTsIOM polling agency, agrees. These fovernors are “figures of hope, for a better life, a change for the better and the development of the regions … This is a new power; it must be distinguished from the former.” They interact with the voters. They are really fighting corruption, and finally they take responsibility for what they do.
Viktor Poturemsky, a political technologist, suggests that the population in the regions is responding emotionally but not rationally.” They are expressing their hopes rather than acting on their experiences, a very powerful motivating force even if it may not last for as long as many hope.
What the experts Znak reported on do not say but what is striking is the very qualities that people in the regions say they are looking for and have even found in the new crop of acting governors who will be subject to elections are the ones that the current incumbent of the Kremlin is seen as lacking – something that helps to explain his falling ratings.