Exploring Putin's Post-Crimean Supermajority
37 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 5, 2015
Vladimir Putin's skyrocketing approval ratings originate from current political developments involving the annexation of Crimea, the para-military conflict in South-Eastern Ukraine, and the rapid elevation of political tensions between Russia and the West. The hearts and minds of Russians are also affected by a mighty state propaganda machine, which has crystallized monolithic pro-Putin support among the Russians and allowed his approval to reach as high as 90%. This research poses several crucial questions with respect to Putin's popular support. What is the magnitude of inflation in Putin's approval ratings associated with social desirability bias, both in general, and in particular, across different socio-demographic groups? What is the depth of Putin's support, i.e. is electoral support in any way affected by Western sanctions, and Russian media propaganda? Are there any temporal changes in the magnitude of social desirability bias and perception of sanctions among Russians since the start of Ukrainian crisis? This complex research, involving five data surveys collected by two Russia's national polling firms between January 2014 and March 2015, shows the presence of inflationary effects of the social desirability bias and state propaganda on Putin's approval ratings, contrasted against moderately small effects of sanctions on Putin's approval ratings and the Kremlin's policies in Ukraine.
Keywords: Putin, approval ratings, Ukrainian crisis, social desirability, survey experiments
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation