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Latest Poll Has Putin Gaining 66% of Votes

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gained the support of 66 percent of those polled by the independent Levada Center in the latest pre-election survey, Interfax reported Friday.

If the prime minister receives that level of support in the March 4 vote, he would achieve the presidency handily in the first round of voting, thereby thwarting the opposition goal of pushing the vote into a runoff.

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov was second behind Putin with 15 percent in the Levada poll, conducted Feb. 17 to 20.

Following Zyuganov in third place was Liberal Democratic Party head Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 8 percent. Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov was fourth with 6 percent and A Just Russia candidate Sergei Mironov was last in the poll at 5 percent.

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