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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Donald Trump is right about Putin's popularity in Russia

    Donald Trump is right about Putin's popularity in Russia

    By Lauren Carroll on Sunday, December 20th, 2015 at 3:25 p.m.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin recently called Donald Trump "brilliant" and "talented," and Trump wears those compliments as a badge of honor.

    On NBC’s Meet the Press on Dec. 20, host Chuck Todd asked the real estate mogul and Republican presidential front runner why he is so comfortable praising Putin, noting that Trump has called Putin a "strong leader."

    "He is a strong leader. What am I going to say, he’s a weak leader?" Trump responded. "He’s making mincemeat out of our president."

    Then Trump turned to his reliable measure of a person’s success: the polls.

    "He’s got an 80 percent approval rating done by pollsters from, I understand, this country. Okay?" Trump said. "So it’s not even done by his pollsters. He’s very popular within Russia; that may change."

    An 80 percent approval rating is pretty darn high. For comparison, President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is currently about 46 percent and peaked at 64 percent in February 2009, his second month in office, according to Pew Research Center.

    So we wondered if Trump is correct that American polling shows Putin has such a high rating among the Russian people.

    In a first for Trump on the Truth-O-Meter thus far, he is.

    By the numbers

    A November study written by four American researchers backs up Trump’s point, finding about 80 percent of Russians really support Putin.

    "What Trump said is consistent with what we found," said Scott Gehlbach, a co-author of the study and a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Given that Putin achieved strikingly high public approval ratings, the study asked whether Putin’s popularity is real or if respondents have been lying to pollsters. A primary concern for the researchers was the possibility of "social desirability bias," the idea that a person who does not support Putin might tell a pollster that they do support him out of fear of retaliation or going against social norms.

    To correct for this, the researchers used a list experiment, a technique used to broach sensitive issues because it does not require respondents to say explicitly that they do or do not support Putin. Pollsters gave Russian respondents a list of several Russian leaders and asked how many they support, but not which ones. By comparing the difference between a control group, which was presented with a list that did not include Putin, with a group that received a list that did include Putin, the researchers were able to estimate overall support for the Russian president.

    After conducting four list experiments in January and March of this year, Gehlbach and his co-authors concluded that the high level of support for Putin is real. If anything, their finding of 80 percent support might be an underestimate.

    Gehlbach noted, though, that the study did not account for how many of the 80 percent are devout supporters versus those whose support is fleeting. Further, it’s likely that the Kremlin manipulates public opinion of Putin through tight control of the media.

    "It’s reasonable that some people support Putin because of what they see on the evening news," Gehlbach said.

    This study is evidence that Putin is genuinely popular in Russia, wrote Joshua Tucker, a political science professor at New York University, in a Nov. 24 post on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog.

    In sum, "the findings suggest both that the West will likely be dealing with a popular leader when it interacts with Putin in the days to come," Tucker wrote.

    One potential wrinkle in Trump’s claim is that while the American researchers designed the study, a Russian polling company, the Levada Center, actually conducted the survey. But Gehlbach said that doesn’t dilute Trump’s claim because the Levada Center is well-regarded as independent from the Russian government.

    Karlyn Bowman, a public opinion expert and senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, also said the Levada Center is held in high regard and its findings are consistent with related research by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center.

    This past summer, Pew found 88 percent of Russians "have confidence in (Putin), to do the right thing regarding world affairs." Putin’s standing is substantially lower among Americans, with just 21 percent saying they have confidence in him.

    Gehlbach’s article, which will be published in the journal Post-Soviet Affairs, also mentions how Putin’s high approval ratings are often confirmed by Western researchers’ polls. The study cites an Associated Press-NORC at the University of Chicago poll that found Putin’s approval rating to be about 81 percent in 2014.

    Our ruling

    Trump said American polling shows Russian President Vladimir Putin has "an 80 percent approval rating."

    Multiple American polls have found Putin’s approval rating to hover around 80 percent among the Russian public, including a recent study that aimed to adjust for any possibility that respondents have been lying to pollsters out of fear or social expectations.

    This statement rates True.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-me...larity-russia/
    Last edited by Judy; 12-21-2015 at 05:42 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Trump, right again! You know, it's so refreshing to actually have an educated knowledgeable person running for President for a change. Trump knows things our military doesn't know, Obama doesn't know, Kerry and Clinton don't know, Bernie doesn't know, all the other candidates for President don't know, the media doesn't know, the talk-heads and "experts" don't know. And they're important things, crucially important things.

    Putin's right. Trump is brilliant.

    P. S. I am so excited about the good prospects for improved relations with Russia. As someone with a degree in political science, international relations, with the primary areas of study being the USSR, due to the Cold War at the time, I am hopeful to see what we sought then come to fruition in my life time. Perhaps this can happen with Trump and Putin working together to bring peace on earth.

    That's my Christmas Wish.
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  3. #3
    MW
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    Judy wrote:

    Trump, right again! You know, it's so refreshing to actually have an educated knowledgeable person running for President for a change. Trump knows things our military doesn't know, Obama doesn't know, Kerry and Clinton don't know, Bernie doesn't know, all the other candidates for President don't know, the media doesn't know, the talk-heads and "experts" don't know. And they're important things, crucially important things.
    Putin's popularity in Russia is something that any sixth grader with a computer and internet access could have uncovered.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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    How Russia props up Putin in the polls




    Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)
    By Christopher Walker and Robert Orttung January 30
    Christopher Walker is executive director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy. Robert Orttung is assistant director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at the George Washington University’s Elliott School for International Affairs.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin’s popularity appears to resist the laws of political physics. Despite the price of oil sinking below $50 a barrel and the Russian economy falling into a tailspin, Putin’s approval ratings hover above 80 percent, seemingly defying *gravity.
    But the numbers should not be taken at face value.

    Deeper scrutiny is especially important because the more Putin’s sky-high popularity ratings are mentioned, the more they become accepted wisdom. Western news media and political analysts frequently report on them without providing critically needed context.


    First, Putin’s popularity has been achieved in an information vacuum. An informal set of censorship rules, actively enforced by the Kremlin, makes it virtually impossible to discuss important issues and question official actions through the mass media. Today, independent voices rarely reach into Russian living rooms over the airwaves. In recent months, the government has tightened its noose, pressuring even outlets serving niche audiences, such as the news Web site Lenta.ru, the newspaper Vedomosti and the Moscow station TV Rain. Meanwhile, feverish state propaganda feeds Russian television audiences an unchallenged and delusive flow of information designed to show the country’s leaders in the most positive light while blaming problems on “fascists,” “foreign agents” and “fifth columns.”


    Second, Putin’s political repression makes certain that only the bravest and most self-sacrificing individuals challenge his rule. Emerging opposition leaders are either removed, smeared or co-opted before they gain sufficient popularity to present a threat. A popularity figure of 80-plus percent simply tells us that Russians cannot conceive of an alternative to Putin.

    Third, well-educated professionals are emigrating from Russia in massive numbers. According to Rosstat, Russia’s federal statistics service, more than 300,000 people left the country from 2012 to 2013, a migration that tellingly coincides with Putin’s stage-managed return for a third presidential term; the rate of departures climbed even higher after the annexation of Crimea last year. By comparison, approximately 70,000 people left from 2010 to 2011. The cream of Russian society is voting with its feet, leaving a stultifying, ever more corrupt environment for greener pastures that allow them to productively apply their talents.


    Fourth is the reliance on diversionary tactics, such as the annexation of Crimea, to deflect attention from the country’s deepening economic problems. In the past, the Kremlin has relied on high oil prices to improve living standards. Putin’s sudden embrace of nationalism and territorial expansionism suggests a desperate gambit to keep his numbers from slipping.


    All of this should tell us something. Today, the Kremlin must work far harder than it has to manufacture regime support. Its fiercer propaganda and harsher repression suggest that the Russian population is less willing to accept Putin. To compensate, the state apparatus has been shifted into overdrive.


    While the fear and opacity that shrouds the Russian system prevents our knowing the true extent of Putin’s popularity, we do know that the incumbent authorities intend to remain in power indefinitely, regardless of their performance. Ordinary Russians understand this as well. The massive state investments in coercion and manipulation are necessary because the country’s leadership lacks a true democratic mandate.

    Applying closer scrutiny to Putin’s ratings is critical because Western observers often fall into the trap of viewing Putin the way they would a democratically elected leader. Despite the coercive context that underlies Putin’s ratings, Western media all too often report survey findings blithely, sometimes even with a sense of fascination and awe, suggesting that politicians in democracies would be grateful to enjoy such high levels of support.

    But this presupposes that envious democratic leaders would want to crush the fundamental elements of democracy, including independent media, civil society and political opposition, to achieve Putin-like “popularity.” We should not accept a definition of popularity that is achieved via truncheon, censorship and propaganda.


    Putin may well retain the support of certain segments of the Russian population. But given the degree of state-controlled “manufacturing” inherent in generating his “popularity,” uncritical reporting of Putin’s stratospherically high approval numbers does a disservice by feeding into the misguided notion that he is unassailable.

    Shrewd leaders understand well that the perception of power molds its influence in reality. The Kremlin’s propaganda outlets toil relentlessly to shape this perception for their captive domestic audiences. Observers beyond the Kremlin’s reach do not have this excuse and should take a far more critical view of Putin’s standing.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...440_story.html




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  5. #5
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    When you cite the polls, like Trump did, then you're right according to the polls. My point was that he knew about the polls that showed Putin was popular with 80% of the Russian People when others weren't aware of them. And the poll he's citingl as my article states is designed in a way to offset the possibility that Russians may be "afraid". I really don't think Russians are afraid today. Maybe years ago they were but a lot of changes have occurred in Russia for the good, much of it due to Putin, so there's really no reason to still view Putin, Russia let alone the Russian People in the same context as the Cold War period which the authors of your article seem to be doing.
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