Public Opinion in Russia: Russians’ Attitudes on Economic and Domestic Issues

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a national survey in Russia of 2,008 Russian adults.

​In a recent poll of the Russian public, the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds President Vladimir Putin is extremely popular, and most Russians believe their country, which is facing mounting economic pressures and international conflict, is headed in the right direction. Although few Russians say the country’s economy is in good condition, most report their families’ finances are in fair shape and are optimistic their financial situation will improve in coming years. Many Russians believe economic sanctions from Europe and the United States are hurting the country’s economy, but fewer than half report the sanctions are harming their personal finances, and most favor Russia helping Ukrainians who want to break off from the Kiev government.

Most Russians say hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics helped the country’s international image, and many expect a similar result from hosting the 2018 World Cup. However, public opinion is divided about the impacts of hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 World Cup on the Russian economy.

In order to better understand the Russian public’s attitudes toward both domestic and international affairs, the AP-NORC Center directed this study which includes a nationally representative in-person survey of 2,008 Russian adults between November 22 and December 7, 2014. This report presents findings from the poll, funded by NORC at the University of Chicago, and examines Russians’ attitudes on domestic politics and their perceptions about the economy against the backdrop of Russia’s increasingly tenuous macroeconomic position.

Three Things You Should Know
From the AP-NORC Russia Poll

  1. The Russian people are rallying around Vladimir Putin, who now enjoys an 81 percent approval rating, much higher than the 58 percent rating he received in a 2012 AP poll.
  2. Economic woes are top of mind among the Russian people even though few Russians report a negative impact on their own pocketbooks. Most say that sanctions are hurting the Russian economy, though impacts on personal finances are more concentrated among those with higher incomes.
  3. Two-thirds of Russians favor efforts to support Ukrainians who want to separate from the Kiev government.