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Putin’s approval rating sees 3-point rise since January, reaching 64.5%, survey says

The poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center shows that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s approval rating rose to 37.4%

MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. The approval level of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s performance among Russians has risen by almost three points over the past 5 months (January - May) to reach a 64.5 percent approval rating, according to a poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center and published on its official website.

"In the period between January and May 2019, Vladimir Putin’s approval rating rose from 61.7% to 64.5%, whereas Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s approval rating score increased from 34.3% to 37.4%," the research center reports.

According to the pollster, the respondents were asked direct (closed) questions, and the responses amounted to the following: 72.3% of those polled trust Putin, 37% of the participants expressed confidence in Medvedev, 36.1% trusted Russian LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 32.6% - Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, while 26.7% of respondents noted that they had confidence in A Just Russia leader Sergey Mironov. However, when asked open-ended questions on which politicians they trust, Putin scored a 30.5% rating, while Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov took the second and third spots, with 15.1% and 12% respectively.

Mikhail Mamonov, who heads the pollster’s Political Analysis and Consulting Department, clarified that the gap between the responses to the closed and open-ended questions was caused by the differences in methods. "In the first poll, we were asking respondents to name politicians themselves, who they would trust with important state affairs (without a specific list of names), while in the second poll we wanted them to determine how they feel about specifically chosen politicians. Many years of research show that the trust rating of politicians is very volatile when the open-ended question method is used. Background events, information activity of the politicians and other factors play key roles here," Mamonov underlined.

He added that a significant number of respondents picked the "not sure" option when asked the open question. Replies to closed questions are more stable since they allow people to "concentrate on the person they are asked to evaluate. There are much fewer ‘not sure’ answers in this case."

The polls were conducted over the phone from January to May 2019, 1,600 Russians aged over 18 participated in them daily.