Ruling Tandem's Ratings Slide Some More

With less than a year before State Duma and presidential elections, public ratings of the "ruling tandem" and United Russia continue to slip, according to two polls.

Only 53 percent approved of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in April, compared with 69 percent in January 2010, according to a survey by the pro-Kremlin Public Opinion Foundation. Another 24 percent opted for "partial approval," up from 19 percent last year.

Support for President Dmitry Medvedev fell from 62 percent to 46 percent over the same period, with another 30 percent voicing "partial approval," compared with 23 percent in 2010.

Only 43 percent of the populace supported United Russia in April, compared with 53 percent in early 2010. No figures were given for partial approval.

The survey was conducted earlier this month among 3,000 residents of 64 regions. It gave no margin of error.

The independent Levada pollster put Putin's approval rating at a more comfortable 71 percent, and Medvedev's at 68 percent. But this is still considerably lower than their January 2010 showing of 78 percent and 75 percent, respectively. The poll had no "partial approval" option.

The survey, released Wednesday, covered 1,600 respondents in 45 regions and had a margin of error of 3.4 percent.

The decrease in the ratings is mainly due to economic problems, with the government still unable to overcome the effects of the recent recession, Levada analyst Lyudmila Sergeyeva said by telephone Friday.

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