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49% of Russians See No Challenger to Putin in 2018 Elections

Almost half of Russians believe there will no politician to challenge Russian leader Vladimir Putin during the country's 2018 presidential elections, a poll by the Levada center has revealed.

Some 49 percent of respondents said that Putin would face no real competition if he ran for his fourth term, the Interfax news agency reported. Twenty-six percent said that a rival would emerge before 2018, while 25 percent struggled to answer.

Expectations have changed significantly since 2012, when 49 percent of Russians believed that Putin would be challenged in the 2018 race.

This time, however, 63 percent of respondents said that they would want to see Putin continue as president, a dramatic rise from 34 percent in 2012.

The Levada Center poll was carried out from Oct. 21 to 24 and surveyed 1,600 adults in 137 cities and towns across 48 Russian regions.

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