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Sobyanin Has $2.6 Million to Spend on Mayoral Campaign

Acting Mayor Sergey Sobyanin's advantage in the mayoral race is evident in the latest poll numbers, but also in the size of his campaign chest.

The Moscow City Election Committee published the candidates' monetary totals on Thursday. Sobyanin's campaign has so far spent half of his 84 million rubles ($2.6 million), the most of any candidate.

Sobyanin is leading in the latest VTsIOM polls, with 51 percent of those surveyed in late July saying they will vote for him on Sept. 8.

The latest Public Opinion Fund's poll showed that during the last six months Sobyanin's approval rating among Muscovites has increased from 51 percent to 64 percent.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny's campaign is half as large as Sobyanin's, according to Alexei Shlenov, deputy head of the election committee. Navalny has spent 10.9 million of his 22 million rubles.

Navalny is second to Sobyanin in the polls, with 9 percent of respondents planning to vote for the activist.

Communist Party candidate Ivan Melnikov's campaign rivals Navalny's with almost 20 million rubles, though only 4 percent support him for mayor.

Yabloko's Sergei Mitrokhin and Just Russia's Nikolai Levichev each have 11 million rubles for their campaign, though Mitrokhin has only spent 1.5 million of his funds.

The least funds belong to Mikhail Degtyaryov of the Liberal Democratic Party, who has spent nearly all of the 5.7 million rubles he has available.

Mitrokhin, Levichev and Degtyaryov each have less than 2 percent support.

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