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02.04.2023, . 10:26


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North Caucasus

- The situation in the North Caucasus is interesting from a variety of perspectives. First, voters in the North Caucasus express a high level of interest in politics and government as 43% are interested and 56% are not interested. They also have a higher level of satisfaction (10%) with the direction of the country than any region except the Urals (15%). Still, 88% are dissatisfied.

- They are far more likely than average (46%) to cite economic decline as a reason for their dissatisfaction (+17%). Other reasons for voter dissatisfaction receive the following scores. Inflation is at 65%, crime (50%), standard of living (55%), unemployment (29%), chaos (34%), and Chechnya (21%). Unemployment and Chechnya mentions are both below average.

- In open-ended questioning, the economic crisis (25%) and quality of life concerns (18%) dominate the issue agenda but political leaders (13%), chaos and disorder (8%), prices (5%) and peace (5%) are also notable concerns.

- The region's voters express higher optimism (24%) and pessimism (41%) about the political situation than most voters. They are, however, significantly more optimistic (29%) about the economy. Still, a 40% plurality say the economy will worsen.

- Support for state control of the economy is 10% higher than average (62%) and only 11% want to continue economic reforms.

- Voters are divided on the issue of democracy. 45% say that Russia is not a democracy and 45% say that it is. As is the case nationally, there is greater negative intensity as 36% say that Russia is primarily not a democracy and only 1 % say that it is primarily a democracy.

- Voters in the region are more likely to say that political power should be decentralized (42%) while 28% think it should be centralized.

- They are also more likely than any other region (43%) to say that Russia could serve as her own best model for development. Only 6% mention the U.S., 5% Sweden, 6% Switzerland and 4% Japan. No respondents mention Germany but 9% say the Soviet Union (+2%).

- A 44% plurality say that Russia should be oriented toward neither the East nor the West. In all, 23% believe Russia would benefit from a western orientation, 9% say the East, and 15% both.

- Voters are less reliant on media organizations or personalities (44%) for information when making voting decisions. 23% are self-reliant and 7% rely on information from government leaders. 91% say National Channel 1 is useful and 87% call Channel 2 useful. Local television programs receive a 53% useful score. 59% say discussions with friends and family are useful. Newspapers are well-regarded as 78% say that newspapers are useful sources (+9%). Local radio may be useful (55%). 47% say that magazine articles are useful. The score for meeting candidates in person is 6% above average at 41%. The top sources are National Channel 1 (40%), Channel 2 (17%) and newspapers (17%).

Institutions and Officials

- Perceptions of corruption are extremely high here. A 68% majority say that official corruption is very common (+14%) and 27% say fairly common. Not a single respondent says that corruption is rare. Also, 68% say that elected officials in Moscow are only interested in helping themselves and 2% say they are interested in improving our lives, A 55% majority say their elected officials are not capable of making any improvement in their circumstances and 41% say they can make a difference.

- President Yeltsin's job approval in this region is 20% approve and 73% disapprove. 23% approve of the State Duma's performance and 60% disapprove (+8%). 18% approve of the Federation Council and 46% disapprove.

Attitudes Toward the Electoral System

- Perceptions about past fraud are also high here 61 % believe there was at least some fraud in 1993 (+5%). However, 42% say there will be fraud in the 1995 elections (-6%) and 47% don't know.

- Voters in the North Caucasus are more likely to blame the CEC than those in other regions.

27%

Central Election Commission

11%

Executive Branch

2%

Other central authorities

6%

Local election offices

9%

Local executive authorities

9%

Political parties

12%

Local candidate organizations

19%

All of these

- Improper voting practices have the following scores. 4% witnessed financial incentives being offered to voters. 3% saw poll watchers and 5% saw local/election officials try to influence votes, and 4% say they felt their ballot wouldn't be kept secret. Group voting here is the highest in the land at 31%.

- These voters know more than most voters about the Central Election Commission. Although only 4% have read or heard a fair amount or more, just 33% have heard nothing at all (-18%). The CEC's job approval here is 11%-36%.

- Support for the computerization of elections is low at 62% (only 40% quite a lot) and 13% are opposed.

- Voters in this region oppose allowing candidates for the State Duma (66%), the Federation Council (66%) and the Presidency (70%) to receive private contributions. A 81% majority say that a ceiling should be established for such contributions. All of these scores are significantly higher than the average. 63% support a minimum voting threshold for validating elections.

- 26% would like to increase the number of Duma representatives who are elected from party lists, 4% want more from single mandate constituencies, 34% would like the system to stay the same and 34% don't know.

- A 62% majority say the Federation Council should be directly elected, 8% call for indirect elections, and 8% think members should be appointed by the President. 22% don't know.

Voting Patterns

- Voters in the North Caucasus have the highest projected turnout in the nation. For the Duma elections, 84% say they will vote and 11% will not. The percentage of those saying they are certain to vote is 61%. 44% of all young voters are likely to turn out.

- Planned turnout for the presidential elections is 88%. 65% say they definitely will vote as compared with the,national average of 46%.

- Vote efficacy in the region is a little above average as 59% (+6%) believe that by voting, people can actually change something in the life of our country and 35% say this is not possible.

- The following table rank orders the results of the Presidential ballot test in the region and shows a different picture than other regions as additional candidates pick up support.

Chernomyrdin

12%

Zyuganov

10%

Yavlinsky

9%

Lebed

7%

Zhirinovsky

7%

Yeltsin

7%

Rutskoi

6%

Shumeiko

4%

Solzhenitsyn

2%

Kozyrev

2%

Shakhrai

2%

Gaidar

1%

Staravoitova

0%

Don't Know

27%

Political Parties

- 64% say that political parties are necessary to Russian democracy and 27% say they are not necessary. 45% strongly believe that parties are necessary.

A 39% plurality say that several parties is an ideal situation but nearly as many, 33%, say that one party is the ideal.

Just 29% say there are clear differences between the parties and a record 54% say there are not. Party membership is high as 10% say they are members of a party (87% Communist). 34% are more likely to vote for a candidate who is affiliated with a political party, 32% are more likely to vote for an unaffiliated candidate, and 26% say it makes no difference.

51% say that political parties speak to the issues that concern the Russian electorate.

- In the Duma ballot, the results are as follows:

Communist Party

30%

Women of Russia

7%

Russia's Democratic Choice

7%

Democratic Party of Russia

6%

Our Home Russia

5%

Yabloko

5%

LDPR

4%

Agrarian Party

3%

Party of Unity and Accord

3%

Party of Economic Freedom

1%

None

14%

Don't Know

12%

Voter Education

* Only 41% say they received enough information from election officials so that they understood the election process;

* They claim to be somewhat better informed as 5% have a great deal of information about the Democratic process, 23% have a fair amount, 59% have not very much, and 10% have none at all.

* However, 76% agree (43% strongly) that they don't have enough information with regard to their rights with regard to the authorities.

* Further, just 29% (-4%) say they received enough information about the candidates or parties to make a good choice in the 1993 Parliamentary elections and 51% (+6) did not.

* 17% are very or somewhat familiar with their voting rights.

* National highs of 31% didn't have enough information on how to check the voter registry and 39% had too little information on means of alternative voting.

* Misunderstandings about voting rights include the following: 41% believe a family member can vote on your behalf by presenting your passport; 34% say that those who don't currently reside in Russia may not vote (-4%), and 42% think those serving time in prison may vote (-9).

* 22% say that those who don't speak Russian may not vote.

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