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Rating of Russian Communist Party’s presidential candidate on decline — experts

The experts believe Pavel Grudinin should expand his electoral campaign to get support

MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. The trust rating of Russian Communist Party’s presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin has decreased as he failed to enhance his electoral potential and has almost exhausted possibilities to attract the Communist Party’s followers, experts told TASS on Wednesday.

Earlier, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) released results of the survey of presidential candidates’ confidence ratings conducted among ordinary Russians. The poll showed that Grudinin’s trust rating began plummeting in late December and early January. He is ranked second alongside LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky (each politicians’ confidence rating amounts to 6.1%)

The head of the Political and Economic Communications Agency, Dmitry Orlov said that "both the Communist Party’s electorate and the population had an initial interest" in Grudinin.

"Grudinin made a hit in December. He got an electoral potential but failed to enhance it. He should expand his electoral campaign to get support," the expert said, pointing out that Grudinin would not surge in ratings, but their correction would have a "rather smooth" increase.

In the meantime, Alexei Chesnakov, a political scientist and the head of the Center for Current Politics, said that Grudinin had practically exhausted possibilities to attract supporters of the Communist Party.

"They are not numerous, less than 8-10% of the voters. By the way, some of them will never vote for him," he said.

Russia will elect president on March 18, 2018. The nomination process ended at midnight of January 12. A total of 17 presidential hopefuls are currently participating in the election race. Among them are two self-nominees, incumbent President Vladimir Putin and Kostroma regional lawmaker Vladimir Mikhailov. The Central Election Commission has already registered two candidates nominated by parliamentary parties - Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) and Pavel Grudinin of the Communist Party.

Grudinin’s nomination

Grudinin, 57, who had led the Lenin State Farm agricultural company on the outskirts of Moscow since 1995, was surprisingly nominated as the presidential candidate from Russia’s Communist Party, and left-wing and national-patriotic forces at the Communists’ convention on December 23, 2017.

His program resembles the Communist Party’s program "10 steps towards a decent living standard" unveiled for their 2016 parliamentary campaign.