Tough Times for Putin’s Popularity

Some poll numbers and commentary from Nikolai Petrov:

Public trust in the work of Putin fell from a peak of 72 percent in mid-October to 65 percent on November 22, the lowest point since March, according to weekly poll figures posted on the site of the Public Opinion Foundation on Wednesday.

Medvedev’s rating stood at 54 percent, down from 62 percent in October.

“This is extremely serious for the government,” Moscow Carnegie Centre analyst Nikolai Petrov said. “In the absence of any stable political institutions, Putin’s popularity is the foundation of the country’s political stability.”

To put this into context, Barack Obama’s approval ratings have nosedived to 45% (which to be honest, is still pretty high considering the doldrums).  Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is still the rockstar of global presidents with an approval rating of 79% – not sure if that has been dented by his hosting of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.