Why I take those Datanalisis polls seriously, and you should too…

Turns out a lot of my readers are downright offended by the notion that Chávez might comfortably ahead in the presidential race. That, at any rate, is the sense I get from ill-tempered exchanges that follow in comments everytime I post about Datanalisis’s polls, the last three of which have made for ghastly reading for the opposition.

I think the certainty that Chávez can’t possibly be winning and any poll that says so must be wrong is blinkered. I go into the reaons in my latest piece over on Foreign Policy’s website. Have a look.

On this site I’ll just add that, if you’re the kind of person who likes to read un blog sobre politica esnobista en inglés, my guess is you’re not in daily contact with Misión Mi Casa Bien Equipada, with its next-to-free appliance giveaways, or Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela, which is so big it turns up in the GDP statistics, or Misión en Amor Mayor, and the torrents of petro-cash it’s aiming at the nation’s viejitos, or much of the rest of the fearsome petrodollar spending apparatus the government has put together ahead of the October vote.

These initiatives are largely invisible to Class A and B Venezuelans (all 3% of us). They don’t get written about in El Universal. Globovision doesn’t cover them. Our friends and neighbors don’t tell us stories about them. They’re off our radar screens. And so we tend to dismiss them.

To class D and E Venezuelans (all 80% of them) they’re very, very present, extremely visible, and very real. For households trying to get by on or around the minimum wage, the misiones are central to their livelihood strategies. When money is tight and job prospects dim, a free apartment, a 75% off washing machine, a small but reliable pension for grandma…these things are huge to you. And the government knows it.

What’s sad is that I think we’re seeing a repeat of the August 2004 story. Back then, the first wave of Misiones caught us totally unprepared. We just had no idea the government could move public opinion on such a scale, a realazo limpio. And just think, back then oil was trading at $40 a barrel. Now, even after a nasty little 20% fall, it’s more than double that price!

So no, it doesn’t seem even a little bit weird to me that Chávez has a big lead going into this. It may be that Datanalisis’s polling methodology is overstating the scale of that lead – maybe they need to ask those No Sabe/No Contesta folks a follow-up question to find out who they’re leaning toward.

But that’s at the margin. The reality is that we’re a petrostate in the middle of a spending boom: the lead itself is anything but surprising.

130 thoughts on “Why I take those Datanalisis polls seriously, and you should too…

  1. Not much left to add to Kiko´s depressing description of reality in VZ….. I think I will go cut my wrists with a dull butter knife now, whilst I allow the undeniable hopelessness of the situation to slowly bathe me in its lukewarm pool of bitterness.

    • No se me acongoje, eduarte, mire que ellos tendran petróleo, pero tambien tienen cancer.

      • I have thought the same, if you need food and goverment gives it to you, more likely you will vote for them, and there are millions like that. The fact that you wrote it (with numbers), just takes away my little hope that somehow it could change. And sickness is not enough for me, because it seems that factor will play a real role after election, and then pandora box will go wide open.

      • Funny that Quico’s only hope is for Chavez to die. In other words, the only way for the political forces that you support to have a chance of coming to power is if their adversary dies. Not only is that sad, but it is sickening that there are people like you that hope for the death of another human being.

  2. Eddy Ramirez from Gente del Petroleo told me yesterday when I asked about the “Data Analisis” latest poll, that the Centro Gumilla people told him that in their research they have found that more than 80% of the people they poll have said they do not politics with the neighbors, meaning they do not going to tell a pollster their true vote intentions. So much for polls……

    • You really are grasping at straws as you are drowning….politically speaking. Read Quico´s reasoning again and that is the reality of Venezuela. Not Petroleum World.

  3. Eddy Ramirez from Gente del Petroleo told me yesterday when I asked about the “Data Analisis” latest poll, that the Centro Gumilla people told him that in their research they have found that more than 80% of the people they poll have said “they do not talk politics with the neighbors”, meaning they do not going to tell a pollster their true vote intentions. So much for polls……

    • Sorry, no.
      Polling is a mathematical tool rooted into sociological approaches. It has error margins -which can also be established.
      “So much for polls” is childish.
      These measurements have existed for decades, and have evolved into complex models.
      So it really doesn’t matter what a guy called Eddy Ramirez has to say. He can scream all he wants: the world is not flat.

      • Sorry no,

        Polls in Venezuela are not exactly accurate. Every single and one of them, are having very different margins, like 30%, 14% and 5%….??? Margin of errors ways off the charts, which means they are not exactly applying statistical and scientific methods when it comes to polls. Saying that Venezuelan Polls are giving real and accurate data collected with proven scientific method is a bold statement.

        “So much for believe” in polls…

        Now these are real polls, with clear results not too different from one another

        http://www.politico.com/2012-election/presidential-polls/

        You see?

        Just in case someone try to say, the childish excuse that I don’t like the poll because it doesn’t shows the results of my likening.

    • There’s nothing wrong with the poll. The only thing Capriles / opposition supporters can take solace in is the high number of undecideds. Still Capriles has a lot of walking and running to do. He needs to hit everywhere, be visible, and hope to fuck Chavez’ illness worsens to the point where at the polls a lot of people see his vote as an uncertain one. Other than that he’s fighting a really insurmountable uphill battle.

      • “There’s nothing wrong with the poll.” I suppose you would have said the same thing about the Datanalisis Poll that gave Chavez NO CHANCE of winning his first Presidential election 2 months before the event–which he won by a landslide!

  4. Class A and B- you nailed it. Class A and B-are rightfully concerned about the abuse of power and illegal contracts, etc. and befriending tyrants, etc. ANd, Chavez’s expropriating from the Class
    A and B…
    Class C, D, ..you nailed it. But, my problem is – these people (who will vote for Chavez)seem to give permission for Chavez to “do whatever he wants” with the majority of the money and resources, just as long as they get their few crumbs. AND, Chavez certainly reads it that way
    as a thumbs -up to his rediculous dreams. For example of being a “power country” that can fight
    and defeat the empire..

  5. This is why the chavista’s have spread the meme that Capriles and the opposition want to get rid of the misiones even though they pledged to keep them around. It seems the blood for oil dynamic may even be working its way through Venezuela if the Venezuelan people can accept a murder rate in the top 5 highest in the globe. The statistics you quote over at FP are staggering. For all intents Venezuela should be a thriving country without this absolute dependence on imports. It never ceases to amaze me how these “socialist” governments never push any plans for practical self-sufficiency (energy, food, some industry, etc) and that in the end they’re really active on the imperialist markets as much as any other country (crying and bemoaning when those imperialist markets don’t play nice). Perhaps when Chavez is re-elected one of his final pronouncements will be to start growing moringa olefeira and mulberry plants to bring self-sufficiency to the country.

    • Yup. It’s like the opposition hasn’t quite grasped what those GDP numbers mean somehow…

  6. Good post Quico, well written as usual.
    It’s hard bringing people back to reality when they don’t want to face it, good thing we have you for that.
    Memory is frail. How many times have we used the old “hidden voter” explanation and have been wrong every time?
    Then people will say that Capriles didn’t defend the vote, Pablo Medina will say that opposition won with 9 million votes, Petkoff will be blamed and Aveledo will be accused of being a Chavez tool.

    • Not quite amieres, Toro has just shot his audience just to pretend he is right and every one else is wrong… that’s what this outburst is all about.

      Is very good that we have new guy in the blog, and he can at least bring a more intelligent and decent post about Venezuela.

        • ha! good one…

          mind you he is right and every else is wrong, including you which means you are actually wrong about your last statement… ouch! hate when that happens to me, when I state something without even think about it… then again I’m writing in a blog “sobre politica esnobista en inglés”

          • You’re doing none of the things you speak about. What you are doing is “shooting the messenger” (ie Quico) for outlining the reality about which you are in denial. If it makes you feel better I will write that Capriles is going to win.

            • Uh…. no, stating in a blog what everybody knows in Venezuela is not exactly the idea of “outlining the reality”, he is just stating the obvious, duh. Everybody knows about the gazillions of dollars being used by PSUV to buy votes, for stuffs like electronic appliances (from 2 years ago?), misiones (from 9 years ago?). hell opposition are in fact lining up for that kind of stuffs. I did!!, am I going to change my position just because I got a cheap toaster, hell no.

              I sense that quico was the last one to actually learn about it, and now he is pretending that the rest of his readers doesn’t know about it. Now that was hilarious.

              More to the point, this article defends the position of using VENEZUELAN polls as a reference, and that he can attest, no, he can swear to god with thousands of cross, that Venezuelan polls are using scientific methods, when each and one of them are having very different margin of difference between the main contenders of the Venezuelan presidential race in a polarized society like Venezuelan one.

              So pardon me if I don’t take your poor choice of ideas very seriously.

  7. You’re right on the mark with this analysis, Quico. We’ve lived it so many times before. Prior to the 2009 Referendum (abolishing term limits), I heard an estimate that the government was providing half of the Venezuelan population with free food! And look what happened then.
    I have always said that if Chavez is alive, he will win. Hands downs. In fact, if he’s still alive, I’ve even considered cancelling my return home to vote, as it will be a wasted effort. Sad reality, folks.

        • Carol, if everybody does the same you are planning to do, then he will win. Hands down. Your reaction is exactly what the castrochavistas want with their 20 point advantage “polls”. But Venezuelans, A B C D and E, know better.

          • I agree.
            The castrochavistas have put down the self steam of people on purpose, so public employees and people in misiones feel that without the governement, they can’t do anything else on their own.
            That’s why the fear of being fired if they don’t go to the meetings or even speaking about politics over the phone. Back in the time when I was a public employee, nobody was so afraid of losing their job for speaking out loud. We all knew there was something else somewhere else. That is not the case anymore.
            Nothing worse than giving up without fighting, and in this case, the vote is the only way to fight.

          • Gold, fyi, I have voted in every election for 15 years now, and know despite my feelings now, I will go vote again on Oct 7. Just venting a frustration along with supporting Quico’s version of reality. They got tons of money and they spread it around pretty good. Bigger things, like oil and other countries, are behind this. Just saying.

            • So you are saying that you are not going to vote just to support the reality version of your friend.

              Ladies and gentlemen, this is what democracy is all about.

    • Even if Chavez dies, his health will remain a state secret and no one will find out for months. His Twitter account can rule Venezuela from Cuba. A decade of Alo Presidente speeches can be re-run. Chavez talks now as if the election results were already known; in fact he has agreed to respect the results. Who knows?

    • that makes two of you, Carol and Quico, who won’t be voting. How nice. This blog brings out the best in civic responsibility and adulthood.

  8. To class D and E Venezuelans (all 80% of them) they’re very, very present, extremely visible, and very real. For households trying to get by on or around the minimum wage, the misiones are central to their livelihood strategies. When money is tight and job prospects dim, a free apartment, a 75% off washing machine, a small but reliable pension for grandma…these things are huge to you. And the government knows it.

    Well said FT, to the point, precise, nail > head, etc… But, please explain to me the encore:

    What’s sad is that I think we’re seeing a repeat of the August 2004 story. Back then, the first wave of Misiones caught us totally unprepared. We just had no idea the government could move public opinion on such a scale, a realazo limpio.

    Cómo es eso de que “we just had no idea” that a pile of money could move public opinion? Come again?

    • The exact same mindset that scoffs at the Datanalisis polls was squawking fraud at 4 a.m. on August 16th, 2004 (long before any specific analysis was available, mere minutes after the announcement) and for the same reasons.

      • Ya va, ya va. You say we had no idea that a pile of money could move public opinion, and you then interpret that alleged ignorance -about the power of money in a country of pedigüeños- as manifesting itself as electoral fraud cries at 4am, August 16th?

        Brother I lost you there. De pana, pls explain que tiene que ver una vaina con la otra. For at 4am, August 16th, we already knew that no oppo witness, or international electoral observer, had been allowed -as previously agreed- in the totalization room with Jorgito.

        • In order to maintain sanity, 2 things need to be adressed:
          1) Hard as it may be, I’m sorry to say Brazil lost the 1950 World Cup to Uruguay. Get over it.
          2) The opposition lost the 2004 vote to Chávez. GET OVER IT.
          Let’s move on. I’m sure we can all agree it’s healthier…

          • Vinz, as hard as it may be for the readership of this blog, a mi, en lo personal, no me consta que Chavez gano el RR en el 2004. Allá aquellos que quieran creer lo que dijo Carrasquero. And this I say with the healthy conviction that very few people give a toss about what I think. The facts are sacred, some lefty heavyweight said once…

            But my comment is not about that. Rather it is about my confusion as to how you could possibly say that “we just had no idea” that absolute freedom to spend a monumental pile of money can not buy an electorate as shallow and ignorant as the Venezuelan. If to that, we then add that the proof of our ignorance -of the power of money on not only Venezuelans but on most human beings- were the calls of fraud made the night after the RR, then, como Condorito mi pana, hago Plop! y me despido a la llanera.

            Una vaina no tiene un coño que ver con la otra. Velocidad y tocino…

  9. Well written post Quico. My 2 cents is that the perception that Chavez is unbeatable, is false and is exactly what the government with it’s Goebblian methods wants us to believe. We beat Chavez in 2007 with oil at $120+ and we beat him again in the legislative elections when Luis v Leon and Datos said we were going to get 25 seats. Hay q echarle bola y rezar que el cancer avance a paso de vencedores!

    • And we beat him/his in the Primary estimates by more than 3 to 1. And we’re clobbering Chavismo in the streets!!!

  10. I’m not A or B, we were more like C- even during the adecos era and now, for a series of factors, including of course Ch time as president, are more like D. Apart from her pension (which is her right) and Mercal (which she doesn’t visit), my mother doesn’t have any contact whatsoever with misiones of any kind or has received any kind of gift from the goverment (not that she’s looking). So this myth of the misiones, I don’t know, I don’t believe it.

    • I work in Petare analyzing microempresaries’ budgets. Mercal just on its own makes suuuch a difference when it comes to monthly spending. Everybody buys their subsidized food, and I would myself if I had the need. How else do you support a family of four with 3.000bsf? Not that it makes them become Chavista just with that, but it really provides to the argument ‘Chavéz helps the poor, he’s a man of the poor’… Compare that to la cuarta república,the fact Capriles is and will still be seen as ‘the rich kid’ in our public imaginarium and you got a big enough sentimental reason (oxymoron?) to love and vote the colour red… There is taste of betrayal in openly supporting him as opposed to the supportive empathetic father Chávez, political rationalism/faith in positivism notwithstanding. El discurso salvaje etc…

    • So, you are going to dismiss the experience of millions of people just because it does not fit your particular case?

      In my father’s house we used to get up early, to go to Mercal, he,, his girlfriend and my brother’s girlfriend. We would get in line because you could take only limited amounts of oil/milk/beef per person. That is the day-to.day experience of way too many Venezuelans.

      • Wow standing in line is only reserved for chavistas I suppose! Compras nerviosoas. Last week my daughter spent almost five hours to register her child in the private school she goes to….and has to go back next week I also have to stand inline when I go to the supermarket check out in Excelsior Gama – which is very expensive compared to Mercal in Cabndelaria. It is no more fun standing in line there than ij Mercal or the ONIDEX. Venezuela is the country os standing in lines and commissions no matter whetehr you are A B C D or E…..wel maybe not so much A!

  11. To counter the pessimism created by this post, I recommend all readers to have a look at today’s post of Daniel Duquenal in Venezuela News and Views

  12. Nice analysis. Wrong, of course, but nice. Have you forgotten that the political divide in Venezuela isn’t truly rich vs poor, but big cities vs monte y culebra? Have you forgotten that the vast majority (in total numbers) of the poor live in the major cities (Caracas, Maracaibo, Valencia, etc), were the opposition has been stomping on Chavez for a long time? Have you forgotten how Ocariz won despite all the stuff the government gave away for free to the voters there?

    And yes, the extremely high NS/NC proportion on the Datanalisis poll is simply inexcusable for a professional pollster. Either they have the worst methodology in the planet or send the ugliest/scariest pollsters to do their polling. The only thing we know for sure is that oppo-leaning voters are extremely unlikely to talk freely to any pollster (or anyone) that they perceive to be working for the government. Chavez is just too fond of punishing his opponents for people to simply come out and tell a total stranger “yes, I’m voting for the other guy, so please do send your thugs to beat me up and steal all my stuff and kick me out of all the Misiones and try your best to make my life miserable…”

    • YES!!
      Information is KING. People in rural areas do not have access to Capriles messages, all they hear is Chavez 24/7.
      Capriles will have to literally go casa por casa

    • Go to Catia with a sifrino accent, then write again. El Libertador is still Chavista, and very much so. Saying the divide is not ‘rich-vs-poor’ is utterly myopic in soo many ways… Ocariz won partly because of papaito just being such an unlikeable character, Chavismo without Chávez, and so on and so forth… The high NS/NC proportion is so understandable once you visit the slums: supporting a man so clearly from ‘el valle’ stings the tongue. They are still waiting “for him (Capriles) to come up with a clear plan for the country”… and after his speech last Sunday they were left waiting. The majority is not fanatical, but does identify more with the president. And in the polarized, sentimentalist country we live in, identity is everything.

    • agree 100%
      The point about the political divide being along urban/non-urban lines is critical. Of course Kiko’s argumentation is more relevant for voters in non-urban areas. Hope Capriles has some strategy on this. A good thing is that most voters are in urban areas though.

    • I think it is clear from the comments that with this post, Quico is just trying to reverse-psychologize a bunch of disaffected expats into actually voting just to prove him wrong. ;)

      • Actually is more on the line that Quico is hoping that Chavez wins just to prove he was right all along… just like Poleo

        People will vote or not vote either way…

  13. Let’s see,

    For most Venezuelans tiny amounts of value help out hugely, the good.

    Petrostates, the bad.

    “People vote with their pocketbooks”, the ugly truth.

    How long before the math becomes obvious as to what needs to be done to eliminate poverty, kill the petrostate, and win the election, all in one fell swoop? Dang.

  14. The analysis in Foreign Affairs is certainly correct in arguing the recent poll should not be “dismissed”. But it is surely deeply deceptive if one concludes that Capriles will achieve 28% of the vote in October. Bluntly put, Capriles has room for growth, while Chavez has much less.

    The river of washing machines may be a determining factor, as Francisco says. But, if so, why is Chavez only at 46%? Right now, he doesn’t have the votes to win.

    • This comment reminded me a semi-personal experience. Some of my sisters in law family are “chavistas hasta la medula” and well connected with the government, while some other family members (No A-B clas) have voted always against Chavez. Well the chavistas hasta la medula had helped the non-chavistas family members to get items from “mi casa bien equipada”. However, the non chavistas family members have told my sister that they will never vote for Chavez.

      So my point is to whom they are telling the truth to my sister or the pro-Chavez family members?…what these guys will tell if Datanalysis or Consultores 21 ask them?

      So my point is that I do believe is winning in the “snap shot” that Datanalisis more recent encuesta represent, but I do not believe that the by snap shot picture will be the same in Oct 7. Capriles will have to work really hard for his votes and hopefully that the recovery of Chavez’s health is just a “show mediatico”.

    • EXACTLY. You and Gustavo Hernandez Acevedo said it in the previous post on Datanalisis’s polls.

      It’s a WEAK showing for a well established demagogue with communicational hegemony throwing money around like there’s no tomorrow. We can be optimistic on this one. Conscience buying is not going well. There’s probably also little confidence that Hugo will last enough.

      The question is not whether a majority of people will vote Chavez. Clearly they will not. The question, and that which should worry us is that this does not mean that they will switch and vote Capriles. Still Chavez could win on that. Still many of those “No Sabe/ No Contesta” could choose, what?

      If Capriles’s campaign can be made compelling to a majority of Venezuelans, voila! He can win handily!

  15. To be honest, I don’t get your point, Toro. Or I just don’t want to get it.

    First, you say that the government is going to spend a lot of petrodollars in giveaway and free stuff trying to charm poor people. I get that. Then you suggest that the opposition (leadership) is clueless about the importance of oil income. I hope they’re not as dumb as you pressume.

    But what bothers me the most is that you say that our best (and probably only) hope for October would be Chavez’s untimely demise. So, you imply that a turn of the electoral tide is unlikely and that HCR is uncapable of defeating Chavez petro-checkbook.

    Si la vaina es así, entonces para que molestarse en votar en octubre? Mejor nos vamos todos pa’l ca y volvemos cuando Esteban cruce el Páramo! Go figure…

  16. Estimado A. Barreda, the problem with Venezuela is not Chavez, but venezuelians and their ways.
    after Chavez hangs up his tennis shoes, traverses the high plateu, and streches his legs, venezuelians will remain the same. Ready to go and extend their begging hand to whoever takes the “coroto”.

    Torres, I dig you, I agree with you, but I also see that both hopefulls and beneficiaries of the clientelismo politico and the falta de rendicion de cuentas will not want to change that!

    For God sake, MP’s in Canada for example, get pinned for having 200$ lunches and have to resign their posts!… Do you think any good’ol PJ and adecopeyano hopeful in the Capriles camp is looking to kiil the petrostate and start working with accountability and eficiency!

    Do you?

    • LuisF, thanks, and yes, but I’m not addressing the Capriles camp, I’m addressing supposedly detached, well-educated readers who should at least agree, but they don’t; they actually give me the biggest pushback, even if they would benefit from such a plan, directly.

      But even if I were addressing the Capriles camp, why doesn’t the Capriles camp realize that it’s better to win the election than to lose it, even without the control of the petrodollars, later?

      Also, the implementation could be force upon any government with a grassroots obligatory referendum, which is easy to get going, given the poor people’s quick buy in.

  17. The fact that the Chavismo has an immense “war chest” and knows how to use it cannot be a surprise to anyone. Historically their base has been around 30% of the electorate, additionally, the abstention has been around 40% in most elections, this leaves a potential opposition composed by about 30% of the electorate. On theory, they should be neck and neck. It is not difficult to see that the election will be won by whoever attracts a greater fraction of the electorate that traditionally does not vote. The Chavismo has effectively mobilized and grown their base in the last few years by ramping up programs such as the “misiones”. The opposition, on the other hand, does not have much time to reach a significant fraction of that population if they hope to get enough votes to push them past Chavez and his supporters. So far the Capriles campaign seems to be going in the right direction and it is clear that Chavez will minimize the opportunities for the opposition to make any advances. So, no TV debate ( or any debate for that matter), possible legal actions against the Capriles organization and supporters should be expected, as well as even more government spending. If anyone is hoping for Chavez to die to win the election, then they have a problem, this ain’t happening for election day, cancer or no cancer.

  18. OT now, if Capriles et al wants to win, theiy have to play the populist game and raise the stakes:
    If chaves promises misiones, we will make them law and double their had offs,
    if Chaves promises pan y circo, we hire cirque du soley and put a panaderia in your barrio stairs….
    sustainable? no;, ethical? no, election winning? yes.

    And I think they are doing this. Will they do a better job in running the country that the incumbent?
    1000% yes. so i am clear where I stand electorally.

    This blog serves to discuss higher aspirations though, hence my constant rant and reproach; However, on the grounds of pragmatism and tactics I back Capriles strategy so far.

    Well done.
    Torres! keep fighting the right fight!…

  19. Kiko,
    You analysis is great. But to be honest I don’t like how you are presenting it. Why? Basically because you are destroying morale. From the beginning we all said that it will be an uphill race. No one should get discourage because of it. One must write, march, yell, do everything with a positive attitude. One must read the polls, Understand them, and try to see what’s happening. Yes, we are behind, but also Violeta Chamorro was behind and she won.

    Every time one reads one of these polls, one must believe it is still possible. No towel dropping is allowed. There is a big chunk of undecided. Chavez doesn’t have a majority. There is a possibility.

    And if the fact is that we need Chavez to be dead for moving forward then our problems are still there and we actually made no progress as a republic.

    • Pretending we are winning is not a viable strategy right now. Denying reality is never a viable strategy in the first place,
      Besides any Machiavellian strategy to “fool your own troops for the sake of morale”, we have to realize that “lo que viene despues cuenta”, and that we need to know where we are in order to see where we should go.
      The thought that defeating Chavez is all that matters is what put us in this situation in the first place; if only we had accepted defeat in 2004 and ran for congress in 2005, probably everything would be different right now. But since we couldn’t beat him, is as if, collectively, all of us decided is was ok to let him become an emperor and let everything go to the crapper.
      This election is irrelevant compared to the fact that Chavez will be dead soon. He wont be able to finish the next period, most likely, he will die before he has more than a year in office. It is then that we will have a clear shot at winning, but it is also then that we will have to deal with the consequences of what we are doing right now, and if we take a similar stance to that of 2004, we might have to get ready for 21 years of “Revolucion Diosdadiana”.

      What would be your choice if you had to choose between a beautiful lie or an ugly truth if knowing that, the more you choose the beautiful lie the uglier the truth will get?

      • Neither. I am just criticizing on how the message is delivered. The message as I read it is delivered as if there is no hope.

        If you read my post I argue that one must listen to the polls, but make sure that there is still hope. Otherwise you get people not going to vote. Even if the polls say that we are loosing by a land slide the day before one must go out and vote. Hope still remains. If not the history of Nicaragua would’ve been different.

        Phrases like “This election is irrelevant compared to the fact that Chavez will be dead soon. He wont be able to finish the next period, most likely, he will die before he has more than a year in office. It is then that we will have a clear shot at winning” are acknowledging that we don’t have a chance in 7O. I don’t believe in Machiavelli but I do believe in Sun Tzu on that the victorious warrior wins first in its mind and then goes to war.The defeated warrior goes to war and then seeks to win.

        That scenario you describe in that phrase Asmv is the worst that could happen since it would leave the nation in a tumultuous state. We must win the elections on 7O. We are behind now but the race ain’t over until is over. And that;s the message that one must send across.

        • In other words, don’t make me face reality because I prefer to live in a fantasy world where I don’t have to face uncomfortable truths…

  20. There is no hidden vote, no fear factor.

    Chavez is ahead.

    But there IS a real question as to how large his lead is.

    Questioning the Datanalisis methodology is not the equivalent of arguing accurate polling is impossible in Venezuela.

    People who follow polling closely know that this large # of undecided is very, very unlikely 3+ months out of a national election anywhere….let alone in a country with such a polarizing, well-known incumbent.

    As for closing the gap: The real challenge for Capriles is to move the debate — ask voters not who loves you more/who will distribute more of the oil income in your direction…but who will keep you safer, who can create jobs.

  21. Oh pull-eze on the latest Quico byline in FP. No mention of the undecideds in the latest Datanalisis poll? A flippant mention of the “enormous lake of petroleum” with nary a thought on its extraction costs? What do you take readers for, Quico? Idiots?

    Here’s what I’d like to see on this blog: a section devoted to polls. In that section, I’d like to see the results of every Datanalisis poll, in the past decade. Included in the data, I’d like to see the undecideds. Next, I’d like to see the success rate of this poll, and a link to the post that Quico produced each time he had an orgasm over the Datanalisis numbers, the projections of which were proven wrong.

    Do you think this is possible, Quico?

    • Sounds like a lot of work for him. But it will definitely add to the the value of this post and the blog as a whole. Is hard to find this kind of breakdown and analysis of poll numbers in a easy and user friendly way in any major news organization in Venezuela. Will FT up to the task?

      • No, not that much work. Most of the information on the poll, unless purposely ommitted or incomplete, should be contained in Quico’s posts on the subject. And I’m 100% sure he’ll be able to locate that information in a flash.

        Let’s put accountability for words and actions to the test! Enough of the flippant turn of phrase, designed to impress those with limited criteria!

        • Hopefully he will. But I have to say that I agree with the content of the post, I just think it a little comparisson of past polls and the eficacy in predicting results in a graphic way, will help to convice those who just dismiss the polls as nonsense.

          Reply

        • Well, one omission in most of Toro’s pollorgasms is the sponsor of the poll. If that information is readily available, it reveals PLENTY. And it should be included by those trying to establish credibility in their assessment of these polling mechanisms.

          • Syd, even then, one can construct a poll with skewed respondent universe/ questions/ interviewers and screw with the results. Keep up the GOOD fight!

    • The sole fact that Datanalysis gave Chavez NO chance of winning 2 months before his landslide first Presidential Election victory should ELIMINATE them from serious discussion on this serious Blog (but, there are those who will die on the cross).As for the RR being won by the “Misiones”, there are many highly-qualified analysts who rightly believe it was a FRAUD, including the Exit Poll giving a 60-40 win, not loss, the only time, I believe, that the U.S. pollster had been wrong, much less by such a margin (Remember when the machines stopped recording “Si”, and began running strings of hundreds of “No’s”?) Today’s street turnouts for Capriles, those D-E folks one never sees, are far more massive than they were for Chavez pre- his first Presidential win, and were what gave him his win. The major cities/population centers in Venezuela are virtually 100% pro-Capriles, and he is doing a good job of hoofing the hinterland, where the fraud occurs, plus planning to control the election centers there. The PROMISE of the Misiones/handouts is great, but their corruption-ridden/inefficient handouts are POOR, and the “Pueblo” knows this.. Still, Chavez could steal the election via Captahuellas fear/coercion or Sala de Totalizacion fraud.

      • please. these polls are the most accurate reflection of public opinion available. they are at least more reliable than your estimates about street turnouts, anyway. you have a right to raise doubt, but nothing conclusive to support your claim about major cities being 100% pro-Capriles. Chavez could steal the election, sure, but he may not need to. just being realistic.

    • I’m starting to respectfully dislike your bully attitude Syd…

      “Oh pull-eze on the latest Quico byline in FP. No mention of the undecideds in the latest Datanalisis poll? A flippant mention of the “enormous lake of petroleum” with nary a thought on its extraction costs? What do you take readers for, Quico? Idiots?”

      You are the first person who I’ve met who even bothers mentioning the price of oil markup. It really is the most profitable mass produced natural resource out there, fyi. It was at 5$ dollars the barrel.

  22. Hopefully he will. But I have to say that I agree with the content of the post, I just think it a little comparisson of past polls and the eficacy in predicting results in a graphic way, will help to convice those who just dismiss the polls as nonsense.

  23. Why isn’t Capriles visiting his favored Missions to demonstrate his support/middle of the road politics?

    • “Missions” are not places, they are plans, or government grants, to make it clearer. Nothing to do with “catholic missions”.

  24. Quico are you “in daily contact with Misión Mi Casa Bien Equipada, with its next-to-free appliance giveaways, or Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela, which is so big it turns up in the GDP statistics, or Misión en Amor Mayor, and the torrents of petro-cash it’s aiming at the nation’s viejitos, or much of the rest of the fearsome petrodollar spending apparatus the government has put together ahead of the October vote”? Cause from the link below, you seem to be pretty far from all of this since, well, hummm, since puberty!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/francisco-toro

      • Isn’t it bizarre how questioning the bloggers article can make one fall into the “Reverse Elitist” category. Escualidus, don’t you find it offensive how someone can write about the Venezuelan “escualidos”, those who belong to the 3%, class A and B, claiming that the Misiones are off their radar, that they have no contact with them as they are not used.

        From my personal point of view, I believe that Quico claims to belong to that category himself in order to justify the credibility of his posting. However if he actually were a Venezuelan, living in Venezuela, in touch with the real Venezuelan class A, B, C. D & E, day to day, he would know that, due to the amount of compulsory propaganda and cadenas aired on Oppo media, it is impossible for any class to not be aware of the Misiones.

        Also, if the blogger lived in Venezuela, he would also be in direct contact with the other 80% of Venezuelans and realize that the promises do not reach all of them and there are some who have had enough.

        As not many Venezuelans read English, it is safe to assume that most of his Venezuelan readers come from privileged backgrounds. Yet Quico seems to portrait the majority of his readers as the South American Marie Antoinettes of the 21st century.

        I apologies if my previous comment offended (it must have as there was mention of ugliness), however sometimes Quico’s postings seem to me slightly out of touch. Don’t get me wrong, my comment was not against him being abroad, it was questioning where his personal insight on Venezuela was coming from.

        • All good and perfect, but do you deduce from this that Chavez or Chavismo should continue in Venezuela? The fact that a sector of the population, for whatever reason, prefers Chavez is not a reason to approve of his government. Hitler was the most popular politician in Germany at the time of the dissolution of the Weimar Republic, and we all know what came out of it.

  25. Both Datanalisis and Consultores 21 show Chavez ahead, even if you take the latter (7 points, Chavez ahead, low abstention) it says Capriles will have a hard time catching up unless Chavez starts showing his illness more. While I agree with the fact that Datanalisis is good, there is something funny about the large abstention, not seen by Consultores 21, as well as the 28% for Capriles which is about what he got in the Fenruary primary, but yes, we should take the fact that we are losi g very seriously and dontblame pollsters for it.

    • 7 points is not seriously losing. He’s on striking distance with a little more than 100 days to go. BTW, C21 is probably the more reliable of all posters IMHO, based on reviewing polls from years past. Still, I’ll take all polls with a grain of salt.

      • I mean, he’s closer than ever with more than three months to go. That’s good FWIW.

        • Not quite and that is what bothers me. In the previous C21 poll it was 5 points diwn, now it is 7. In polling trends are as important as numerical values and right now, the trend has gone Chavez’ way. He can make it up, but he has to star making it up soon.

  26. I think C21 is the most accurate one. Datanalisis is just too “guabinoso” and has a “yes-and-no” attitude that won’t convince me (2007: the NO is near but Chavez will win 60-40; 2008: Ledezma cannot win but might win; 2009: Chavez is popular but the amendant is not as much, but they are ahead, but can be caught up; 2010: 50-50 but the oppo will get 45 seats) I mean, they always want to be OK con Dios y con el Diablo.

    And the heck!!! I don’t believe that shit that 28% of people are undecided! Those votes are surely for Capriles and he won’t say that because he doesn’t want to anger Jorge Rodriguez, who is hiring him. Let’s see what they have to say within a month.

    Consultores 21 is more serious, I think.

      • This one is for you Kiko: I´ll say it for the nth time… I DON´T TRUST DATANALISIS.

        These people have been waaaaay off lately. So no, I don´t trust Cara de Queso Leon or Mr. Gil. I do believe HCR is behind in the polls. But 44-28… Puuuhlease………

        I still don´t understand people´s obsession with Datanalisis, LVLeon has made a great job in communications to make his company look good, but the numbers and consistency are just not there, they´re about as accurate as a Nelson Bocaranda runrun.

  27. I coined a phrase 8 years ago “Miserocracia” you ruin a country, keep the poor poor and then buy their votes for peanuts…

  28. What the polls don’t measure is how much the Venezuelan people are aware and are concerned about how Chavismo is expropriating the democratic process that may establish a multi-generational totalitarian oligarchy. To what degree are the majority of voters aligned to that objective, or are they just oblivious?

  29. I thought the FP article was a useful insight. It leads to the question: what is the outlook for oil prices? I’ve heard conventional thought seems to be that current ‘high’ oil prices are here to stay… just like Chavismo?

  30. Sorry Toro, I guest you didn’t get that memo, the position of “voice of reason of the opposition” is not longer available, Poleo already took it and lock himself in his basement.

  31. “These days, Venezuela even imports its coffee”. What the hell! These days Venezuela even imports gasoline. Can it get any worse? Yes, our glorious National Guard Generals use their power and influence at the border control points to smuggle this imported gasoline (for which Venezuela pays 0.60-0.70$ a liter ) purchased at a subsidised price of 0.03$ a liter at the local Venezuelan gas stations to sell it in Colombia at international prices with a grotesque profit. Complete insanity.

    • Readers of this blog know that, word-for-word, the most accurate analysis of what is going on in Venezuela is found in The Bipolar Capybara.

  32. Why is this blog in English anyway? Like 99% of its readers are Venezuelans and practically the only topic discussed here is Venezuelan politics. So, what is the rationale for doing it in English? I guess English-speaking aficionados to Venezuelan politics benefit from it, but still…

    • I think it’s targetting English speakers abroad, also I think it’s the language of schooling of those writing it, also I think it was a niche since there were already blogs in Spanish when this one started.

  33. Bueno, a riesgo de parece extramadamente ingenuo, yo creo que la gente no es boba. Incluso esas personas de los estratos C, D y E que menciona Kiko se dan cuenta o intuyen que, para utilizar una frase bien manida, “el modelo no es sostenible”. Por mucho que el gobierno gaste a manos llenas, la gente sabe que la mayor parte de ese dinero se pierde por el camino. Por mucho que los precios del petróleo estén altísimos, la gente sabe que PDVSA ha perdido capacidad operacional y por lo tanto los ingresos petroleros no aumentan y hasta disminuyen. Por mucho que el gobierno te resuelva algunas necesidades basicas, la gente también quiere trabajo. Yo creo que el mensaje de Capriles basado en ofrecer empleo, conciliación y paz es el apropiado. Y por supuesto la incertidumbre asociada a la enfermedad de Chavez también es un punto que juega a favor de la oposición. Desde luego lo que no me gustaría ver es que Capriles adoptara un mensaje populista como el que uso Rosales cuando lo de la tarjeta ‘mi negra’ para tratar de competir con las misiones. La alternativa a las misiones debe ser empleo, conciliación y paz.

    • el_inmigrante,

      Si estás de acuerdo que el petroleo es de todos por igual, entonces debes estar de acuerdo que al apropiarse el gobierno del petroleo el gobierno le está quitando a todos un valor a todos por igual. Esto se podría considerar un impuesto. ?Te parece que el gobierno esté quitándole a los ricos y a los pobres por igual, aún a los que están en pobreza crítica?

      Lo pregunto porque, aunque estoy de acuerdo que distribuir el dinero petrolero sería una oferta que haría feliz a la mayoría, creo que populismo no es la razón para hacerlo; sería lo mejor que se puede hacer para solucionar muchísimos de los problemas de Venezuela, además de que es dinero que les pertenece a todos, no al gobierno.

      • Commentary: The Caribbean and Latin America: ALBA strikes again!
        Published on June 26, 2012 Print Version

        By Rebecca Theodore

        The curtain falls. Light sparkles on crushed glass. The power of satire evokes the depth of meaning and the beauty of form lies unsurpassed.

        As the lone witness of a tragic reality where whirlwind scenery grasp and replay and pyramids of dust sit stagnant on the distant stage, the Caribbean and Latin America beams into view as the new platform, fundraising center, and operational base to wage asymmetric warfare against the United States.

        Rebecca Theodore was born on the north coast of the Caribbean island of Dominica and is now based in Atlanta, GA . She writes on national security and political issues and can be reached here.

        And as if waiting for spectral nature to interrupt my thoughts, I sit bereft of emotions like a cold stranger looking for what emotions to apply as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) acts as a disruptive entity in the Caribbean, down- playing the harmony of CARICOM, USAID and other institutions.

        As baritone voices fill the background, the song in the great stadium begins, but alas it is with a different anthem, for the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) is taking rapid advantage of its new base in the Caribbean island of Dominica. The Dominica government is now headed by a dictator who signs communiqués without consulting parliament and anti Americanism is glorified beyond the realm of political hyperbole. Other organizations like the Peace Corps, Ross University and others are sitting on edge.

        In a dreamlike present tense in which speculation and reflection abound, Caribbean prime ministers, most notably Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda, bask in the glow, praising Chavez and tacitly lambasting the US for their economic woes while crime soars in raging heights.

        And they paint pictures of their own design.

        “We have suffered greatly as a result of coercive and imperialistic models of colonialism they say. ALBA is helping us as a means of cooperation. ALBA is our replacement from exploitation.”

        Analogous to that stage of life where men indulge in oaths so strange and sycophantic embellishment reigns supreme, other Caribbean islands are rapidly following in economic quest but Barbados is visibly absent, for their pride refuses them to beg for neither bread nor thread.

        Meanwhile, the vibrant colours of the Caribbean flutter on that doomed and distant stage as potential investors to the Caribbean and especially Dominica worry about the outcome.

        Lo! An incoherent rumbling disturbs the scene and I turn to gaze.

        Chavez is financing ruling parties in the Caribbean and politicians are the new breeders of crime. US presence and actions constitute an interference which threatens the sovereignty and stability of Dominica. The prime minister of Dominica does not need USAID funding to sustain Dominica.

        Reminiscent of a jungle of an ever present darkness, the stage is frightening, and I hold my neck as a choking child torn from its natural sleep.

        I have experienced politics in the theatre and I’m consumed with the challenges of good staging but this is the life of the narrator. I hear the ringing of telephones and loose demons speak in muffled tones within this unaesthetic world of inaccessible sound, rhythm, and meaning.

        “There is a Chávez terror network on America’s doorstep,” I hear him say. ALBA, (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America) is the new facilitator of narco-trafficking and terrorism in the Caribbean. A paradise for tourists has now been converted into an operational base for hard-line Iranian terrorists and criminals.

        It is no longer a peaceful Caribbean.
        Commentary: The Caribbean and Latin America: ALBA strikes again!
        Published on June 26, 2012 Print Version

        By Rebecca Theodore

        The curtain falls. Light sparkles on crushed glass. The power of satire evokes the depth of meaning and the beauty of form lies unsurpassed.

        As the lone witness of a tragic reality where whirlwind scenery grasp and replay and pyramids of dust sit stagnant on the distant stage, the Caribbean and Latin America beams into view as the new platform, fundraising center, and operational base to wage asymmetric warfare against the United States.

        Rebecca Theodore was born on the north coast of the Caribbean island of Dominica and is now based in Atlanta, GA . She writes on national security and political issues and can be reached here.

        And as if waiting for spectral nature to interrupt my thoughts, I sit bereft of emotions like a cold stranger looking for what emotions to apply as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) acts as a disruptive entity in the Caribbean, down- playing the harmony of CARICOM, USAID and other institutions.

        As baritone voices fill the background, the song in the great stadium begins, but alas it is with a different anthem, for the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) is taking rapid advantage of its new base in the Caribbean island of Dominica. The Dominica government is now headed by a dictator who signs communiqués without consulting parliament and anti Americanism is glorified beyond the realm of political hyperbole. Other organizations like the Peace Corps, Ross University and others are sitting on edge.

        In a dreamlike present tense in which speculation and reflection abound, Caribbean prime ministers, most notably Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda, bask in the glow, praising Chavez and tacitly lambasting the US for their economic woes while crime soars in raging heights.

        And they paint pictures of their own design.

        “We have suffered greatly as a result of coercive and imperialistic models of colonialism they say. ALBA is helping us as a means of cooperation. ALBA is our replacement from exploitation.”

        Analogous to that stage of life where men indulge in oaths so strange and sycophantic embellishment reigns supreme, other Caribbean islands are rapidly following in economic quest but Barbados is visibly absent, for their pride refuses them to beg for neither bread nor thread.

        Meanwhile, the vibrant colours of the Caribbean flutter on that doomed and distant stage as potential investors to the Caribbean and especially Dominica worry about the outcome.

        Lo! An incoherent rumbling disturbs the scene and I turn to gaze.

        Chavez is financing ruling parties in the Caribbean and politicians are the new breeders of crime. US presence and actions constitute an interference which threatens the sovereignty and stability of Dominica. The prime minister of Dominica does not need USAID funding to sustain Dominica.

        Reminiscent of a jungle of an ever present darkness, the stage is frightening, and I hold my neck as a choking child torn from its natural sleep.

        I have experienced politics in the theatre and I’m consumed with the challenges of good staging but this is the life of the narrator. I hear the ringing of telephones and loose demons speak in muffled tones within this unaesthetic world of inaccessible sound, rhythm, and meaning.

        “There is a Chávez terror network on America’s doorstep,” I hear him say. ALBA, (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America) is the new facilitator of narco-trafficking and terrorism in the Caribbean. A paradise for tourists has now been converted into an operational base for hard-line Iranian terrorists and criminals.

        It is no longer a peaceful Caribbean.

        • If this is a sales pitch, it fails in that it makes me *not* want to get the product just by the sales method used to get me to know about it.

  34. Datanalisis is not the reliable one that it used to be. No way those polls they publish could be right.I do not believe you. If you ask on the street 8 out of 10 is supporting Capriles so saying that 6 out of 10 ( 60%) is more realistic. Down with Datanalisis.

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