State pollsters will now publish unflattering survey data about Putin less often
Without any explanation, the government-run Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) has abandoned weekly publications of an open survey where Russians name the politicians they trust. The polling agency told RBC that this information will now be released on a monthly basis. VTsIOM will still publish the results of a closed survey on politicians’ trust rating on a weekly basis.
What’s the difference between open and closed polling? In the former surveys, respondents are asked to name the politicians they trust. In the latter approach, respondents are presented with the names of specific politicians and asked if they trust them.
In late July, an open survey measured Vladimir Putin’s trust rating at 30.4 percent. Two months earlier, when the president’s rating hit an all-time low, VTsIOM suddenly changed its polling methodology and added the specific question: “Do you trust Vladimir Putin?” which more than doubled the president’s score.