Study Reveals Ahmadinejad Supporters in Rural Areas No Longer Back Him

TEHRAN—Since the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June, determining the degree of his support among the population in rural and small urban areas has been at the center of debates over the issue of electoral cheating. The research presented here is the result of polling and the tracking of political opinion in eleven rural and small urban areas with populations between 8,000 and 34,000 people in Fars and Isfahan provinces in the following periods: two five-month intervals from June 2008 to March 2009; and late April, the first week of June, the middle of July, and the middle of September in 2009.

The polling, done by people local to these areas, was conducted in various places of employment and recreation, via telephone, and face-to-face. Despite organizational difficulties, the total amount of people who participated over this period was 11,529. We tried to reflect the demographic percentages of each town in the sample groups. For example, the largest group polled in most areas was the 20-to-32-year-old age group, which is the dominant age group, according to official records. The methodology for the study was based on theoretical work on polling conducted in non- and semi-democratic polities.

The polls focused on popular opinion of Ahmadinejad. In the two pre-election polls, respondents were asked to state for whom they intended to vote. In the two post-election polls, respondents were
asked for whom they had vot... >>>

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