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Monday, June 8, 2015

Deconstructing Putin's Approval Ratings: One Thousand Casualties For Every Point

Vladimir Putin stakes his claim to leadership on approval ratings that would be the envy of any democratic politician. Skeptics, however, question the meaning of approval ratings when a dictator appoints all political positions and ensures that rivals are distrusted by the electorate. A dictator who controls the media and devotes enormous resources to propaganda can manipulate approval ratings with extraordinary measures, offsetting fundamentals that would otherwise push the favorability rating down. But what does someone like Putin do when he runs out of diversions during a period of prolonged economic stagnation? We’ll perhaps know the answer soon.

go to Forbes.com

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