Press release №1901
09.12.2016
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS TO THE FEDERAL ASSEMBLY -2016

IN BRIEF

  • 43% of Russians are aware of the content of the Presidential Address, this is a maximum over the recent years
  • The most high-profile topics are healthcare, education and foreign policy
  • Most of those who are aware of what the speech was about were interested in it

Forty-three percent of Russians are aware of what the Presidential address was about. An overwhelming majority of TV viewers consider the presidential performance was interesting.

MOSCOW, December 9, 2016.  Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of the survey describing how many Russians were interested in the Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly; which topics were perceived positively, and which ones-negatively; how they generally assess Putin’s speech.

The recent State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly has become extremely popular: its key issues are known to 43% of Russians (35% in 2015). The live performance was watched by 15%; more than a quarter of Russians (28%) found out about its basic ideas on the news. The 2016 Interest Index makes up 49 p.

Those respondents who watched the performance personally or found out about its basic ideas on the news mainly remembered and liked Putin’s ideas about healthcare (12%), education (11%), and foreign policy (9%). Forty-eight percent of Russians failed to specify the topics they liked. Eighty-four percent found it hard to express their opinion on what they disliked about the Presidential Address; all the informative answers across the entire sample make up not more than 1%.

An overwhelming majority of Russians who are aware of what the Presidential Address was about consider it interesting (86%). After watching the Presidential Address, three-quarters of respondents (77%) have a feeling that Putin generally has a clear vision of the real situation in the country.

*Interest Index shows how much Russians are interested in the Russian Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. The higher the value of index is, the more Russians are interested in it. The index is based on the question: “This week President Putin delivered his annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. Did you watch his performance?” The index is calculated as a sum of answers, where the answer “Yes, I watched presidential performance attentively” corresponds to the index “1”; answer “I did not watch the performance attentively" - index “0.66”; answer “No, I did not watch the performance" – index “0.33”; answer “I am not interested in politics; I am indifferent”- index “0”. The index is measured in points and can vary between 0 and 100.

The VCIOM survey was conducted on December 3-4, 2016, using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of telephone numbers operating in Russia, and involved 1600 respondents. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the field work can introduce bias into the survey.

This week President Putin delivered his annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. Did you watch the performance?* (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Yes, I watched presidential  performance attentively 16 17 23 12 17 12 10 10 10 9 16 13 15
I did not watch the performance attentively but I found out about basic ideas on the news, from newspapers 22 27 35 32 28 26 22 18 20 20 23 22 28
No, I did not watch the performance 50 39 30 38 40 42 42 56 50 48 45 51 45
I am not interested in politics; I am indifferent 11 15 10 16 14 18 24 14 19 22 15 12 10
Don’t know 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 2
Interest Index 47 47 56 46 49 43 38 40 39 38 45 45 49

* Household surveys were held in 2005-2015; in 2008-2011, the questions referred to the Medvedev’s Presidential Address; in 2004-2007 and 2012-2016 – to the Putin’s Address.

If you watched the presidential performance, which ideas and proposals did you like/dislike and remember most? Name two or three of them, please. (open-ended question, not more than three answers in each column, % of those who watched the Presidential Address or found out about it on the news)
I liked I disliked
Healthcare  system (investment into the healthcare system; decrease in prices for medicines) 12 Attitude towards price increase, inflation (the president is given outdated inflation data, and he reads  them out) 1
Education (back to the Soviet educational system; more schools and kindergartens should be built)   11 Foreign policy  (he said that enemies were all around; few things were told about our neighbors – Ukraine, Belorussia, Armenia; too much attention to foreign policy; too many hopes for Trump) 1
Foreign policy (fence-mending strategy with the U.S.; strengthening Russia’s position abroad) 9 Fight against corruption (nothing but words about corruption) 1
Fight against corruption (no public show should be made out of criminal cases) 8 Social policy (few attention to health issues, pensioners; maternity problems)   1
Social policies (social support for population) 7 Wrong representation of the population’s income (budget workers have low salaries) 1
Economy / way out of crisis (program of economic development) 6 Imposition of taxes (increase of tax rates) 1
Country’s military capacity / army (army should be modernized) 5 Ideas look like slogans; too few details   1
Upswing of agriculture / Upswing of industry 4 I liked everything 8
Internal policies  (his focus on internal policy, not on foreign policy; more attention to the problems of the country) 4 Other 3
Social well-being (increase of salaries for budget workers; improvements in living standards) 2 Don’t know 84
Development of science and technologies (modernization of science and technology; researchers should be occupied with their scientific activities)   2    
Environmental issues  (landfills; Russian Year of Environment; elimination of landfills) 2    
Fight against terrorism  (against ISIL, militants) 2    
War in Syria, help (He thanked the military forces for their operations against Syrian terrorists and providing help to civilians) 2    
Nation building / patriotism (unity of people) 2    
Pension (what was said about pensioners; next year pensions will be indexed) 2    
Development of small business (He extended the time for entrepreneurs to develop their business) 2    
Failure of authority to act on the spot (authorities should communicate more with people; give similar instructions to deputies and public officials) 1    
Housing and Utilities (they should be controlled) 1    
Urban development, amenities in rural area and yards 1    
Taxes 1    
Roads / parking lots / transport 1    
Housing problems (More housing for the military; they promised to provide people with housing) 1    
Price increase / Fight against inflation (development of regions) 1    
Culture (about culture; it should be developed; more assistance)   1    
Banking (reduction of mortgage interest) 1    
Sport /Fighting against doping (he condemned the decision to ban athletes from participating in the Paralympics) 1    
Nothing; I disliked everything 1    
I liked everything 2    
Other 4    
Don’t know 48  

Generally speaking, how interested were you in what the president talked about in his address?  (closed-ended question, one answer % of those who watched the Presidential Address or found out about it on the news)
  Total respondents Moscow and St. Petersburg Million cities More than 500 ths 100–500 ths Less than 100 ths Rural area
Rather interested 86 80 88 77 87 86 91
Rather not interested 12 18 10 21 12 11 9
Don’t know 2 2 2 2 1 3 0
Speaking about the Presidential Address in details, do you think the president understands the real situation in the country and problems of people like you, or not? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of those who watched the Presidential Address or found out about it on the news)
  Total respondents  Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
President understands the real situation and problems of people like me 77 69 79 73 77 79
President does not understand the real situation and problems of people like me 19 31 19 22 18 17
Don’t know 4 0 2 5 5 4

Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!

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