Modern Russia is very different from the former Soviet Union. In olden days, since there was only one party running in an election the populace always knew who won and by how much. But, what does one do in Putin Russia? They actually have to allow other parties to put forth candidates for the presidencey and the problem confronting Putin, and his protege Dimtry Medvedev, is seuring a victory total that will look impressive, but also comes across as legal. A Moscow Times inquiry to a senior official at the Medvedev headquarters elicited a refusal to say how many votes the campaign was aiming to collect since it was confidential information. I guess the electorate is not entitled to know how their votes will come out.
Most estimates are a vote total in the 80% range since Medvedev does not want his victory to resemble a “Turkmen result” where its president, Niyazov, always seemed to hit the 100% mark. Polls taken of Russian voters range from about 50% to 82% indicating some confusion as tot he final tally. Some observers think Putin would like to keep the margin low in order to humble his stooge and prevent him from getting grandiose ideas that people really think he is terrific.
In all event, no one should stay up late worrying about the final vote count. Medvedev will win, this is a guarantee from this blog.