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State-Run Poll Has Putin Winning Election in First Round

The state-run All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM) predicts presidential candidate Vladimir Putin will win the election in the first round of voting with 58.6 percent of the vote, a press release from the polling agency said Monday.

The remaining candidates are headed by Communisty Party leader Gennady Zyuganov with 14.8 percent of the vote, followed by LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 9.4 percent, businessman Mikhail Prokhorov with 8.7 percent, and A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov trailing the pack with 7.7 percent.

Of eligible voters, 55 percent said they are following the election, with 9 percent of those following it very closely, and 44 percent said they are not following the election at all.

Regional variations play a large role in voting patterns, with residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg indicating that 43.7 and 46.7 percent respectively will support Putin. Prokhorov is projected to gain the second-most votes in Russia's two largest cities, at 17.2 and 16 percent.

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