Vladimir Putin's candidate ratings have started to slip in Russia's biggest cities (home to a quarter of all voters)
The newspaper Vedomosti has noticed a curious trend in voter polling released by the state-run sociological institute VTsIOM: Vladimir Putin’s presidential candidate ratings slipped 12 percentage points in Moscow and St. Petersburg between mid-January and mid-February, falling from almost 70 percent to just above 57 percent.
In other cities with more than 1 million residents, pollsters tracked a similar fall in support before the New Year, before Putin’s ratings stopped falling and grew two percent.
Polls show the same trend in cities with populations between 100,000 and 500,000 people, and Putin’s candidate rating has remained stable only in cities with populations between 500,000 and 950,000 people, and in smaller towns and villages.
In large cities, pollsters have recorded a growing number of undecided voters and people who endorse Pavel Grudinin, the Communist Party’s candidate.