Vladimir Putin Has an Enthusiasm Problem

Where did Putin’s voters go?

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

According to the Daily Beast's latest scoop, "a Russian operative" used Facebook to organize an anti-Muslim event in Twin Falls, Idaho, that attracted a grand total of four people. Inside Russia, the Kremlin appears to have a similar inability to stoke crowds. 

QuickTake Vladimir Putin

Last Sunday, Russia held the last string of local elections before the 2018 presidential poll. Few people showed up. In just three regions out of the 16 that elected governors, the turnout was higher than 40 percent, a level of apathy to which Russia is getting accustomed: At last year's parliamentary election, the turnout hit a record low at 47.8 percent. The hundreds of lower-level elections — on the municipal or district level, roughly equivalent to U.S. city council and county polls – were even more glaringly ignored.