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#2 Study of the Electoral Intentions of the Population of Russia During the Presidential Elections in March 2024. Main outcome of Boris Nadezhin's campaign

Updated: Feb 27

 

The research agency ExtremeScan conducted a second telephone survey of 1000 adult residents based on a representative sample.

Survey method: CATI

Survey period: January 25 – 30, 2024

Sampling methodology: RDD based on Rossvyaz data, stratified by federal districts and two cities of federal significanceSampling error: 2.44% at a 95% confidence interval

"Do you plan or not plan to vote in the Russian Presidential election this March?"*

  • Yes 84%;

  • No 11%;

  • Hesitant to answer 5%.

The results for voting intentions remained largely the same as in the first wave.

Here is a quote from the release on the first week: "Certainly, research experience suggests that turnout is significantly lower than the expressed intention to vote, so the figures cannot be compared with forecasts of turnout, and even less with subsequent turnout data, because for the purposes of forecasting one should ask a package of several questions and have a long base of observations. In addition, elections in Russia have two directions of "correction": by voting results and by turnout".

Candidate ratings

In the course of this wave of research an important event occurred: in the middle of the week the Central Election Commission rejected 15% of the signatures collected by Boris Nadezhdin's headquarters and the probability of withdrawal of the candidate approached 100%. The sample, evenly distributed over the days and balanced for each day by regions, allowed to analyze not only the weekly rating, but also two separate periods: February 1-3 and February 4-7.


"If you participate in the Russian presidential election, for which of the listed candidates will you vote?"

Table 1. ExtremeScan, Elections - 2024, 01-07 Feb 2024
Table 1. ExtremeScan, Elections - 2024, 01-07 Feb 2024

The principle of distribution of votes of undecided respondents is described in the first release*.

Nadezhdin's overall rating remained at 6%, as it was in the first week of measurement. But this is only at first impression.

As we can see, during the entire short period of measurement, from 26.01 to 03.02.24, Nadezhdin's rating was growing, and only when the high probability of his refusal to participate in the elections became clear, it began to decline.Thus, the model calculation of the distribution of undecided votes among the candidates (except for Putin) leads us to Nadezhdin's rating of 20% on the first three days of the second week of measurement. In the first week of measurement this indicator was 16%, in the second half of the second week - 12%.

Among supporters of the special operation, 83% vote for Putin, less than a percent vote for Nadezhdin, and only 14% of the undecided in this group, which means that Putin is quite successful in accumulating almost the entire loyal pro-war electorate. Among those who oppose the SMO, Putin is supported by only 15%, and Nadezhdin by 47%, while the undecided are slightly more numerous - 19%. This group has not yet decided on its electorate, but it can be assumed that they would support candidates other than Putin in approximately the same proportion as they already have: about half of them support Nadezhdin.

In addition to these two groups, there is a group of those who are undecided about their attitude to the SMO or refused to express it in interviews. It is formed by people who are usually far from politics and are not immersed in an active agenda, and they are not well acquainted with other candidates than Putin. For this reason, there are many undecided voters (28-30%) and it can be assumed that with sufficient information about Nadezhdin's candidacy they probably could increase his support base.

Nadezhdin's electorate structure

  • 60% of Nadezhdin's audience is under 40. More than half of Putin's electorate is over 50 years old;

  • 60% of Nadezhdin's audience vs. 40% of Putin's audience have higher education; 

  • Boris Nadezhdin's audience is 80% urban, while Vladimir Putin's is 66% urban.

Nadezhdin's electorate by financial status

  • 41% have worsened financial situation (24% for the whole sample);

  • 9% have improved financial situation (17% for the whole sample);

  • 50% had no change in their financial situation (58% of the whole sample)

Employment structure of Nadezhdin's electorate

  • 29% employees of private companies;

  • 33% business owners;

  • 13% students;

  • 12% retirees.

Nadezhdin's electorate is a concentration of anti-war sentiment

  • 90% of Nadezhdin voters believe that soldiers should be returned home and no new mobilization should take place;

  • 82% of Nadezhdin voters are willing to support Putin's decision to withdraw troops from Ukraine and move to peaceful negotiations, despite unmet goals;

  • 90% of Nadezhdin voters want a truce with Ukraine;

  • 84% of Nadezhdin voters want to restore relations with Western countries.

The result of Boris Nadezhdin's campaign, which cannot be undone

As has already been written on the basis of recent research by the Chronicle project, ExtremeScan, and a qualitative study conducted jointly with the Public Sociology Laboratory, the Russian population came to the beginning of the election campaign with a consensus willingness to stop the war, a readiness to hear the anti-war rhetoric of an "ideal candidate," and total lack of faith in the possibility of such a candidate appearing. So the emergence of Boris Nadezhdin, a little-known politician (38% knew him or had heard something about him as of early February) was on good ground.

Nadezhdin was swept up by a wave of striving for peace, and his public campaign, in turn, acted as a catalyst for pacifist aspirations.

For the first time in a year of measurement since February 2023, the positive response to the question about willingness to support Putin's decision to withdraw troops from Ukraine and move to peaceful negotiations despite unmet goals rose from 40% to 49%.

Such a burst of the index occurred literally within 2-3 weeks of the peak of the collection of signatures for Nadezhdin and the struggle for their recognition. It was as if for a brief moment there had been a "thaw", censorship had receded, and it was possible to want peace and talk about peace. It is likely that a little later, according to the principle of swinging, there will be a decline in this indicator again, but apparently not to the previous level. This is the result of Boris Nadezhdin's short campaign.

* By publishing our rating data, we do not aim to predict the outcome of the vote, as we cannot take into account the influence of specific electoral technologies. Such a shift cannot be measured by polling methods. Besides, almost every fifth (19%) of those who expressed their readiness to take part in voting has not yet decided on their candidate. Traditionally, their votes are distributed in the same proportion as those who have indicated their preferences, but in this case it will be incorrect. It is obvious that they are not ready to vote for the incumbent president. First, because this candidate is well known to everyone, and the assumption that he was named simply because Putin is not promoted enough does not look convincing. Secondly, as special studies show, the current election is presented to the mass consciousness of voters as "Putin's election" and an uncertain position here means a direct refusal to vote for Putin.

To be continued.

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