Navalny’s Poll Numbers
VTsIOM today released the first poll numbers on the Moscow Mayoral race after Alexei Navalny’s conviction in the KirovLes fraud trial. How much did the exposure help to improve Navalny’s poll numbers? According to the state-run pollster’s results, not much. A survey conducted on 9-10 July found 11.6% of eligible voters would vote for Navalny if the election was held the following Sunday. A mere 10 days later, when asked the same question, 12.9% of respondents answered Navalny. By contrast, Moscow’s current mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, received 78.3% and 77.1% respectively.
Levada Center, meanwhile, has not released a poll on the Moscow mayoral election since early July, well before Navalny’s conviction. In their last poll, 9.5% of respondents said they would vote for Navalny in the September 8 election.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Frolov said in an op-ed published yesterday in the Moscow Times, “All Navalny needs to do now is walk the streets of Moscow with his beautiful wife and shake hands to get more than 30 percent of the vote.”
But what exactly would prevent Navalny from rallying people to protest the results of the election by saying fraud took place? It would not even have to be massive fraud. Just a few well-documented cases would be enough to call for a march or even an Occupy-type scenario.
Or, to put it another way, is there a “magic” percentage that allows Navalny to lose gracefully and does not end in street protests?