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Reuters/Philippe Wojazer
Russian President Vladimir Putin cups his ear to listen to a question in Paris, France, Oct 2, 2015.

So who’s going to win Russia’s election?

By Max de Haldevang

Just weeks from Russia’s presidential election, the race is heating up dramatically, according to Kremlin polls. (Who needs an independent pollster, anyway?)

Incumbent Vladimir Putin has seen his ratings fall 5.6% since September—to just 69.5%.

Multimillionaire Communist candidate (no, that’s not a contradiction in terms) Pavel Grudinin has wowed voters with his straight-talking, hitting a whopping 7.5%. (Although private polls reportedly say 15%.)

Grudinin faces a tough challenge from the voter poll option “Don’t Know/Can’t Say,” which has doubled its numbers since September—now at 10.6%.

There’s a vicious race below that between far-right racist (and old Trump acquaintance) Vladimir Zhirinovsky, opposition socialite Ksenia Sobchak, and perennial liberal candidate Grigory Yavlinsky. Who will mop up the 7.6% they share between them right now?

The bookmakers are giving Putin odds of 1/100, but, really, is anyone a safe bet in this turbulent campaign?