Vladimir Putin was projected Sunday to win the Russian presidential election with 73.9 percent of the vote, securing a fourth Kremlin term, according to an exit poll by state-owned pollster VTsIOM.
The poll covered 161,000 respondents at 1,200 precincts in 68 Russian provinces and had a margin of error of no more than 3.5%. VTsIOM said in a statement that over 37% of those polled refused to say whom they voted for.
The exit poll findings looked similar to early results from Russia’s Far East, where the presidential vote ended eight hours ago. The Central Election Commission said that with 21% of all precincts counted, Putin was leading the race with 71.9% of the vote.
The exit poll showed Communist candidate Pavel Grudinin in second place with 11.2% of the vote, while ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky came in third with 6.7%.
Victory in the election will see Putin serve another six years in office.