They mean the polls, of course.
In international context, it’s extraordinarily rare for any incumbent to lose re-election amid a spurt of strong economic growth. And in a petrostate context, it would be genuinely extraordinary for an incumbent to lose with triple-digit oil prices.
Some will see this attitude as defeatist. I of course think of it as realistic. People vote their pocket books. More specifically, they vote the trend in their household finances. Right now – hard though it may be to believe – a very large number of Venezuelan households are seeing their finances improve month by month.
We’re asking a lot of the Capriles camp when we ask it to overcome this structural disadvantage. Because, we should be clear: that the race is even competitive is already a huge testament to the work they’ve done.