The Datanálisis election

Readers of this blog know that for the past few weeks, we (mostly me, really) have raised serious doubts about Datanálisis’ poll predictions. At the same time, we relied on Consultores 21′s projection that Capriles was ahead.

The results were a clear endorsement of Datanálisis, who predicted the outcome pretty nicely, and a serious embarassment to Consultores 21.

So in that regard, kudos to Datanálisis and their team. They can be proud, and I apologize for criticizing them.

Consultores 21 … your reputation has been irreparably shattered.

164 thoughts on “The Datanálisis election

  1. Irreparably shattered is being kind. Ground up, doused in kerosene, set alight, then had the ashes smothered in horse shit and set on fire once again is more like it. Para Luis Christiansen no hay un camino.

    • it’s easy to shift blame to Consultores 21, but you are responsible for losing your sense of objective reasoning and trusting an agency anybody with half an interest in the subject knew was biased against Chavez. Consultores 21 was wrong, but you can’t pretend they fooled you.

        • good track record?:
          “In the 2004 vote to recall Chavez mid-term, Consultores predicted a tie between those wanting Chavez to finish his term and those voting to recall. But the recall vote failed with Chavez garnering 60 percent of the vote.

          In the 2006 presidential election between Chavez and opposition candidate Manuel Rosales, Consultores maintained that Chavez had just a 13% lead over his opponent. Chavez won that contest with a nearly 26 percent margin over Rosales (62.8% to 36.9%).

          In the 2009 constitutional referendum to remove term limits for president, Consultores polls a month beforehand showed just 41.8 backing the referendum, with 56.20 opposed. The referendum passed with a 54 percent majority–almost a polar opposite result from the one predicted by Consultores.”

              • (and by the way, you can’t call somebody who is presenting evidence and engaging in a legitimate debate a troll simply because he happens to fall on the other side of the debate.)

              • Roni, you must be new around here. JC and Toro call anyone who makes a coherent argument against them a troll. Its their way of not engaging the other side. That’s why there is no surprise that they are clueless when it comes to things like this.

                I had this discussion about C21 with JC. He refused to accept reality while staring it in the face. It is an unfortunate characteristic of his and Toro’s.

            • I’d like to apologize in advance for sounding confrontational, but I think you should back that statement with evidence like Roni here is trying to do. I realize that his/her statement isn’t that great because he/she does not provide sources-not even a hyperlink- in the comment, but at least that is clearly an attempt to support the argument with historical data. On the other hand, I have yet to see you back your argument in a similar way, as all there is to your answer is an ad hominem.

              I am in no way endorsing Roni here, mind you, I just feel that you could be better off if you pointed us to the excellent track record they had up to this point. In fact, odds are good someone already did most of the legwork for you and compared every venezuelan pollster against each other; you just have to find the blog/article.

              I understand this amounts to asking you to (maybe) go to great lengths to prove your point to random strangers on the web, but the way I see it you either a) have that information at hand in order to be able to claim such things confidently or b) don’t have a good way to follow up on Consultores21′s track record, so you are going by memory (which can be very selective, and thus deceiving). If it’s the former you should have an easy time getting that data, and if it’s the latter it wouldn’t harm you to make sure you have that data at hand the next time you want to place your trusts on pollsters. Just my 2 cents.

              • The authors of this site are not the least bit interested in being honest. I have appealed to them many times to engage in honest debate, and they always refuse. I share your disappointment. (Maybe publicly shaming them might prompt a response? We’ll see.)

      • I’m sorry to contradict Nagel, but did Datanalisis really predicted the outcome??? If I remember correctly, Datanalisis always published the results with Chavez well below 50% and capriles well below 38%, With a number of 11-15% of undecided. I’m failing to see how Datanalisis were able to make a good prediction, the only point that they managed to ascertain was Chavez winning the the election, that’s just very yucky for scientific standards, and If I were client of Datanalisis, or any private Venezuelan pollster for that matter, next time I just hire my own people to make polls in Venezuela.

        • The undecideds simply didn’t vote. That meant everybody went up, Chavez above 50% and Capriles above 40%. Anyway, I’m not going to go through the numbers to see how right Datanàlisis was, I don’t see the point.

          • Witt all due respect the point is not to make the same mistake again.

            Having a very reliable pollster would’ve helped the MUD to mount a proper political campaign, and when you have all respectable polls going to opposite directions, you have to wonder WTF is going on??…. and this wasn’t happening a month ago, this was happening long ago since the opposition primaries.

            LVL said last week that the majority of undecided will be landing on Capriles side… well this election just proved him wrong and his team. They landed on chavista side, because Venezuelan People are more conservative than we though, they are afraid to change, that they want to keep their Misiones, Mercales, even though Capriles assured them million times that such thing will never happen under his watch.

            And worst, they were eating the fear campaign that sprung from chavismo labs, cancellation of Misiones, Paquetazo, Nazism, sexual preferences of Capriles, Capriles having a rich family.

            Yup undecideds ate all that crap. Because if you spent the last 14 years living in Venezuela and your acknowledge the bad record of the chavista government and you are still undecided, then you are most likely to become chavista when you hear that Capriles is planning to cancel all the misiones.

            We took for granted the undecideds, and though that they were most likely to vote for the opposition.

    • Until noon exit polls were saying there was technical tie (this is recognized by both sides). Then, the tendency changed irreversibly. Some analyst attribute this to what was called “operacion gallope”, which was a strategy from the government to mobilize people to vote at the last moments , that is, to pick them up and take them to the voting centers in localities where there is known Chavez popularity… the opposition didn’t do that. Who knows? maybe that was the decisive move.

  2. I think the reading of the polls was too optimistic with respect to the undecided. To me, the undecided were chavistas because if, after 14 years of that government you still hesitate for change, it means you do not want change. I recall giving the example of Québec in which a large part of the undecided voters ended up voting for the liberals and yet everybody else believed that it could not be the case in Venezuela.

    I’ll write a post about the significance of the results.

    Meanwhile, I applaud Capriles for his magnificent campaign and his excellent concession speech. It has been a long time since we, venezuelans had an opposition leader of that stature. I hope the opposition keeps following the path that Capriles has opened for them and focuses on the 2015 elections.

    Capriles could not have governed anyways with all the powers against him, so the focus now is to regain the National Assembly.

      • “Meanwhile, I applaud Capriles for his magnificent campaign and his excellent concession speech. It has been a long time since we, venezuelans had an opposition leader of that stature. I hope the opposition keeps following the path that Capriles has opened for them and focuses on the 2015 elections.”

        Bruni, well said. A magnificent and BATTLE HARDENED campaign. This can be overcome. What’s the other option?

    • This seems really sober and smart. Focus on the areas where you’ve proven strong – local elections, assembly elections – and turn what has without a doubt been an effective campaign apparatus into a strong bottom up effort. It’s long, it’s piecemeal, and there’s not certainty of victory. But it has the benefit of having yielding results in the past. Capriles certainly did himself a lot of favors tonight. How well he is able to manage those “radicales” he rightly called out in his speech will be another test in the hours and days ahead. I’ll look forward to your results analysis.

  3. I didn’t follow the earlier posts on Consultores so let me apologize if I’m repeating something previously stated or worse, bringing up an old debate – but it’s just scarcely credible to build a poll on the basis of a predetermined outcome. Especially when that outcome is itself based on trends from decidedly different electoral events. Presidential elections are their own political phenomena, governed by their own logic. To draw a linear connection between a presidential election, a constitutional referendum, a regional election, and a national assembly election, and then to extrapolate from that connection to make project another presidential election, it just doesn’t pass logical muster. Not to mention it undermines the very methodology one is presumably trying to validate when you dismiss poll results that don’t give you the outcome you expect. You need to trust your instruments. Obviously, you want to be skeptical of outcomes that seem implausible based on reasonable hypotheses. But if you start from the outcome and work your way back to a method that gives you that outcome, you’ve basically exposed yourself as unscientific at best, and not credible at worst. Apologies if this seems harsh, but I just couldn’t believe how much weight folks put on that Consultores poll.

      • What the crap are you people talking about? Consultores had a very good track record until tonight.

        • I’m referring to the Christiansen comments that we shouldn’t believe any poll that didn’t give the opposition at least X number of votes, based in turn on assumptions about the growth of the opposition base in electoral events since 2006. Also, just because you’ve been right in the past doesn’t mean I should accept your projections uncritically. If you tell me you’re basing THIS poll on certain assumptions, I’m going to look at those assumptions and see whether or not they stand on their own. And when I looked at those assumptions, they not only failed to stand on their own; they were simply shoddy. Past performance shouldn’t mean a carte blanche for future projections, and it should certainly not exempt you from rigorous scrutiny. By which I’m not suggesting that’s what happened in this case. I’m just presenting it as a general rule. But I will definitely look back on the Consultores thread to see how the debate unfolded. And I’m sorry if I upset you. Not my intention in the least.

        • “In the 2004 vote to recall Chavez mid-term, Consultores predicted a tie between those wanting Chavez to finish his term and those voting to recall. But the recall vote failed with Chavez garnering 60 percent of the vote.

          In the 2006 presidential election between Chavez and opposition candidate Manuel Rosales, Consultores maintained that Chavez had just a 13% lead over his opponent. Chavez won that contest with a nearly 26 percent margin over Rosales (62.8% to 36.9%).

          In the 2009 constitutional referendum to remove term limits for president, Consultores polls a month beforehand showed just 41.8 backing the referendum, with 56.20 opposed. The referendum passed with a 54 percent majority–almost a polar opposite result from the one predicted by Consultores.”

        • Juan, there are people who have conveniently short memory. Now everyone is going to pretend Consultores 21 was invented 3 months ago or something. It’s like someone said
          “Nunca entenderé a los chavistas, ganan y te insultan como sí hubieran perdido”
          Just ignore these trolls.

          • For my part, I made no such claim about Consultores being fly by night, rather I raised questions about what seemed like a problematic set of assumptions in this particular poll, since I read the initial post as an invitation to follow up on the projections of Consultores. But if what I’ve written here makes me a “troll” to be ignored, then let me thank you for letting me know. I didn’t mean to offend anyone and hoped for some discussion. Suerte.

              • okeyyyyy. pero argumentos tambien, look at their track record since 2004:
                “In the 2004 vote to recall Chavez mid-term, Consultores predicted a tie between those wanting Chavez to finish his term and those voting to recall. But the recall vote failed with Chavez garnering 60 percent of the vote.

                In the 2006 presidential election between Chavez and opposition candidate Manuel Rosales, Consultores maintained that Chavez had just a 13% lead over his opponent. Chavez won that contest with a nearly 26 percent margin over Rosales (62.8% to 36.9%).

                In the 2009 constitutional referendum to remove term limits for president, Consultores polls a month beforehand showed just 41.8 backing the referendum, with 56.20 opposed. The referendum passed with a 54 percent majority–almost a polar opposite result from the one predicted by Consultores.”

    • Opposition votes (including PPT): 5.8M
      PSUV votes: 5.5M
      But it’s difficult to compare National Assembly elections to presidential elections. It’s an apples to oranges scenario.

      • That one, I don’t get. A consistently pro-oppo state swings the other way in a “tighter” race? What tiny, meager, insignificant bragging rights I had (“we don’t vote for him”) — gone.

        • I wouldn’t call Zulia a consistently pro-oppo state. After all, in 2006 it voted for Chávez over its own governor, 51% to 48%.

  4. Would have been nice to know we were watching the last cadena…thanks to Juan, Francisco, and the rest of the team who brought us such sharp analysis and reporting over the course of the campaign. It was a nice ride.

    • It was my analysis, not Quico’s or JC’s. When I have all the detailed data (which I don’t have yet) and review it properly, I’ll respond to that.

      • Well hey, I would have liked if Capriles had won, and I appreciate what you guys are doing, and wish you the best on your respective careers and all. However, my opinion has long been that your analyses are too polluted by your strong anti-Chavez bias. When I read a lot of your original analysis work of the past few months it seems that much of it was just a projection of your hopes. Hopefully this all will be a lesson for you guys to be more impartial when setting your pen to paper (or your fingers to keyboard?). You can be an opposition propaganda blog, or you can be a blog with reasoned analysis of facts, but clearly you can’t be both.

          • consultores 21′s track record was terrible and this blog chose to believe in them:
            “In the 2004 vote to recall Chavez mid-term, Consultores predicted a tie between those wanting Chavez to finish his term and those voting to recall. But the recall vote failed with Chavez garnering 60 percent of the vote.

            In the 2006 presidential election between Chavez and opposition candidate Manuel Rosales, Consultores maintained that Chavez had just a 13% lead over his opponent. Chavez won that contest with a nearly 26 percent margin over Rosales (62.8% to 36.9%).

            In the 2009 constitutional referendum to remove term limits for president, Consultores polls a month beforehand showed just 41.8 backing the referendum, with 56.20 opposed. The referendum passed with a 54 percent majority–almost a polar opposite result from the one predicted by Consultores.”

            there are NO EXCUSES FOR TRUSTING THEM…..and now, no reason to trust you guys either.

        • El Padre, you said it well. Almost everything written here is so full of a political agenda that it can’t be taken seriously. Their utter hatred for Chavez means they get it wrong on so many things. Its why no one with any objectivity takes them even remotely seriously.

            • Nobody has perfect objectivity, but it takes a very dishonest person to cling to a pollster that has a long history of distorting the results in favor of the opposition, even when people pointed this out to them. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The distortion that goes on around here on a daily basis is blatant. There are countless issues in which we have shown evidence that contradicts their official line. The evidence they don’t like is simply ignored. It is intellectual dishonesty at its finest.

              • I agree with Get a clue on his thoughts about Consultores 21, but let’s not get into name-calling. I don’t think the bloggers here are dishonest; on the contrary, I have no reason to doubt their integrity. They just made mistakes, as we all do when we wish for something so much that we lose track of reality.

              • I think you gotta doubt someone’s integrity when they willfully ignore the facts while staring them in the face. Consultores 21′s record has been pointed out to them before. They simply chose to ignore it.

              • Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
                Vaclav Havel

                So, wishing and believing in victory and not obtaining it is not the end of hope, and has nothing to do with one’s grasp of reality. Some of us were, to be sure, optimistic. A bunch of what Havel called “cunning shits” won. And for those who struggled for a change, my heartfelt admiration goes out to you.

          • Let’s talk about the 19000 people murdered in Venezuela last year, 5x times as much as 1998, the year this bullshit revolution began.

            Please, be so kind and fuck yourself.

          • Dude, go hang out with your “objective” aporrea pals then!. What a chavista is doing at CC after winning an election is beyond me. You’ve gotta have some loose screw in your head or something. Let us analyze and mourn in peace. I’m starting to think that educated chavistas can’t stand their own crowd. I actually think there was a reverse “voto oculto” in the election. People that said they’d vote for Capriles because they were too embarrased to admit they support Chavez and all he represents. Apparently, that logic is at work here too but in a more subtle way. You can’t stand Quico or JC but you find it very aspirational and cool to hang out with them…what a heck is that?. I think it’s Chavistas who you can’t stand and you have an urge to come back here. So, if you’re a true Chavista then go celebrate as any normal person would. If you have an urge to rejoice in our pain, then execercise your sadism in silence, or if you’re an oppo in the closet then come out of it once and for all.

            • You can’t stand Quico or JC but you find it very aspirational and cool to hang out with them…what a heck is that?.

              a variation of the abusive husband-battered wife syndrome.

        • “When I read a lot of your original analysis work of the past few months it seems that much of it was just a projection of your hopes. ”

          To the extent that it was, it was clearly labelled as such.

  5. Oh please. Consultores have always been a joke with a long track record of dodgy polls.

    http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/7308

    You know all this, and yet you still chose to “believe” them against all the evidence because it suited your fantasies. Unpalatable facts were screened out and only comforting fiction was heard. What’s left of this blog’s reputation also lies in tatters.

    • Indeed. And that’s exactly why they will prove utterly incapable of hearing this criticism, even when it comes from their own supporters like up above. Its a lost cause. Its an exemplary case of “no hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver.”

    • Marvellous. I expect we won’t be seeing the likes of you again. Btw, go dream about your ‘espada de Bolivar’.

  6. The number of votes tonight was crazy…It is hard to be overtly critical to a pollster when the results were like nothing we had ever seen.

    I am really intersted in two things…
    1) How will the vote change when the last 10% of the vote comes in? Were these in Capriles strongholds and it will become closer, or will the margins stay the same?
    2) What was the general dynamic of the race? Specifically, we all know a ton more voters came out. However, did all those extra people go to Capriles and that is why the opposition was so much closer this time? Or instead, did Capriles steal a lot of votes from Chavez this time, but Chavez was able to make up the difference by getting all the new voters?? This will be a big question so we know how to proceed in the next election…

    • Once the full data is out, we can answer those questions.

      One thing is clear: When Chavez himself is on the ballot, he’s stronger than when is one of his surrogates or his proposals. That’s undeniable now.

      • When he was singing in the rain at the Caracas rally I had a feeling, a deep feeling that he still had a lot of support and could still win. But I was blinded by Capriles’ rally that same day, and it convinced me that Capriles could still win.

        Got to face it, Chavez the personality is a force.

        • Just watching his victory cadena confirms your assertion. He actually believes that he can pull off that “Venezuela potencia” he’s promising, even with the large amount of problems the country is facing. And tonight is the proof that many people believe him.

          Reality will hit either him of his followers hard, sooner rather than later, the question is who will be first? And when?

    • My other question is what did the election do to Capriles’ popularity among the Chavistas and the ni-ni? Specifically, once Chavez is removed from the picture, will most of them feel comfortable voting for Capriles over another red candidate?

      • That’s the big question, no doubt. Although the same polls that in some way predicted this outcome were also fairly clear about how little popular support those in Chavez’s milieu have on their own. It’s partly what explains opposition gains in local, regional, and national assembly elections.

  7. I watched Luis Vicente Leon’s presentation in Washington and he was very impressive.

    In the last months he has had to endure a lot of harrasment at his professional integrity.

    • That was definitely a convincing presentation (until the strange Ghost reference at the end of the Q&A!). Though to be fair, of the three scenarios he presented, this one (10 percent Chavez victory) was an outlier and he seemed more to envision a closer election, based on how the remaining 11 percent of undecideds likely to vote were breaking. So yes, he called a Chavez victory, but only as one possible/likely outcome, and not quite by the numbers that turned up. That’s how I read it, in any event. Could be wrong.

      • His scenarios were based on trying to predict how the undecided would break. I was encouraged to hear that in the previous month they had gone for Capriles, but it seems many of them broke for Hugo.

        Btw, we really need to bury the voto oculto theory.

        • Couldn’t agree more. I suppose it’s aptly called – occult. It invokes a sense of unknowable evil that mysteriously lurks, waiting to strike at random. And it feeds from the same well of unfounded assumptions that defy all the available evidence. Don’t get me wrong: I like black swans as much as the next guy. But if you worry so much about them that you ignore facts and the realities that stare you in the face, then you’re really shooting yourself in the foot.

  8. consultores 21′s track record was terrible:
    “In the 2004 vote to recall Chavez mid-term, Consultores predicted a tie between those wanting Chavez to finish his term and those voting to recall. But the recall vote failed with Chavez garnering 60 percent of the vote.

    In the 2006 presidential election between Chavez and opposition candidate Manuel Rosales, Consultores maintained that Chavez had just a 13% lead over his opponent. Chavez won that contest with a nearly 26 percent margin over Rosales (62.8% to 36.9%).

    In the 2009 constitutional referendum to remove term limits for president, Consultores polls a month beforehand showed just 41.8 backing the referendum, with 56.20 opposed. The referendum passed with a 54 percent majority–almost a polar opposite result from the one predicted by Consultores.”

    there are NO EXCUSES FOR TRUSTING THEM.

    • By any decent standard, pretty much none of the pollsters in Venezuela should be trusted (c.f. this chart).

      All of them have gotten at least one forecast outside of the standard p~0.95 confidence intervals. That, and the fact that their results have had a tendency to vary so much between one election and the other implies a strong bias that I find hard to explain with simple methodological/sampling flaws.

      And no it’s not limited to pro-oppo pollsters.

      • True, but anyone who has been around Venezuelan elections very long knows that there are a few pollsters that are usually pretty trustworthy (IVAD, Datanalisis, Hinterlaces) and then there are a bunch of bullshit polls from both sides.

        People who are objective know this, and knew that this election would not even be close. But Toro and JC are not even close to objective. That’s the whole point. This blog is propaganda, not serious analysis.

        • The problem with C21 is that it was a perfectly mixed bag. They had some very close results next some extremely bad ones. Thus I can excuse someone who decided to trust them or discard them this time around.

          My big disappointment was Varianzas. They were doing a fine job before, but royally screwed up this time.

          Next time I’ll just code up some Tarot simulations with my computer. They’ll probably give me a better estimate than all these chickenshit pollster cunts have ever gotten.

        • IVAD was prediciting a 20 point difference. I don’t know if they changed their numbers at the last moment, but if they didn’t, I think that difference was too big compared with the actual one for them to be still considered trustworthy.

          To be clear, I’ve never taken C21 very seriously, but IVAD and Hinterlaces have a mixed record. I’m impressed with Datanalisis this time around, although they have also erred in the past, albeit never by too much.

    • Alright roni, either provide links to back up your statements, or give it a rest. I’m tired of reading your same post. People question your assertions because they are unsupported and because now it is very easy to say ‘I told you so’. If you are trying to debate a sore topic whilst wounds are still raw, then please do so with patience and understanding.

      Additionally, ‘get a clue’, you have no impartiality, but I understand that your view of the world must be difficult from up there on your cloud.

      • It is easy to claim that I have no impartiality, but its another thing to back up that claim. In order to do so, you’d have to show examples of where I have willfully ignored facts and evidence, like JC and Toro did here.

        • GAC,
          What is the point, really? You think we´re dishonest, lazy, arrogant, bubble-headed and what not. I get that. You may have a point, we are human after all. But your objective in being here is what, other than cyber-bullying?

            • my point at least, has been that you can’t just shift blame to consultores 21 as if there was no reason to doubt their results. your trust in them signals that you’ve lost objectivity and have moved on to propaganda. sure, nobody is 100% objective, but you should at least have an analysis based on some semblance of objectivity. as a reader of your blog, that’s what I’m looking for. if I wanted some simplistic anti-chavez shit then I would read the foreign press. this blog was (is?) different. the point is this: you should have known better!

              • In all fairness, I think JN and FT just got carried away by C21′s decent 2010 results. Since that was the latest big election, there was a reason to think that C21 would be interested in objective forecasting this time around.

                But, really, you guys are beating a dead horse. JN and FT have already said that they were wrong and apologized for relying so much on C21. To keep on bashing them is just childish LERO-LERO.

          • What’s the point? Oh, I don’t know, maybe that you could reflect on your bias? Maybe the point is to point out your obvious lack of objectivity once again, in hope that you might rectify your errors? Maybe the point is to point out, once again, to your readers that what they are getting here is not honest analysis, but rather propaganda?

            People who willfully deny facts and evidence in order to further their political agenda should be called out on it. People who are dishonest should be publicly recognized as such. That’s exactly what I’m doing.

  9. cuerda de bobolongos,
    dejen la peleadera por ahora que para eso hay tiempo de sobra hasta el 2019

  10. Capriles-team asked us all to hope against ourselves for this election. We all trusted them, and when push came to shove, Quico and JC used what distant hope there was. Not in the complacent sense that the traditional opposition is known for, not even resorting to nonsense pollsters.

    If the candidate-team had not asked this of us, had not needed to ask this of us, the blogotorial line might have been less campaigny… but Quico was always an activist first, communicator second.

    If you wanted pure analysis of the election, you usually would have got it.

    But this time, there was hope in the air.

    I forgive you.

    • These guys had a reputation interest in being right. Just goes to show that even without a vested emotional interest, this election was too close to call.

      A Chavez win means that Venezuela still faces high borrowing rates on the debt market, and that Chavez will turn more to China and their subsidised lending as he is forced to plug the hole in the Venezuelan economy he has widened in the run up to the election.

      I sincerely hope that Cancer doesn’t take Chavez, the economy tanks further and his grassroots, hardcore fanatical support feel the pinch in their pockets, they turn their support to alternatives and the legacy of his political memory and divisive politics is destroyed. One can hope.

      Our strongest attribute is resolve in the face of defeat. I say thank you to the unified campaign of Henrique Capriles Radonski for a clear, inspiring, dignified campaign working for solutions for all. Today, I have many reasons to feel down, but I see many things to be proud of, and many reasons to keep going.

  11. Man, I know it makes no difference at all, but it pisses me off that this Reina Sequera looney got almost 16 times more votes from the Unidad Democrática ballot- with the misleading name and Capriles’ face on it- than from her own.

  12. I want to send a collective bro hug to all of you who have been following this blog like me through these days, specially to Island Canuck I know he must be feeling like crap just as we do but I haven’t seen him commenting here or on the other blogs where I see him so if you read this I hope life goes well to you given the circumstances.

  13. “Gegen die Dummheit, kämpfen die Götter selbst, vergebens”: How to intepret the outcome when – ostensibly – so many opted for more gratuitous murders, widespread essential-goods shortages, labor-union elimination, international munificence/local tight-fistedness and corruption on a grand scale? Not unnaturally, it was utterly reasonable to assume that the general preference would be for an end to all that but the phenomenon (not unknown; Peronism destroyed the Argentine decades ago and remains extant!!) is more intricate, more complex seemingly wherefore a polling rehash would appear to be called for. Picking over polling electoral debris at this stage is picayune when there’s no polling-related episode in the offing: some nailed it (and may be sighing with relief!); others didn’t. We’ll be wiser next time.

    As for questioning the intellectual integrity of the blog: something of a snide red herring altogether! This blog has been a beneficial sounding board for all manner of opinion and as such, we are FAR better off with it than without it, warts and all.

    For the moment, the wind has been taken out of the opposition sails. That mustn’t be allowed to carry more punch than it actually has or the regime will get more mileage out of it than necessary. Opposition has to continue otherwise, by Christmas, it won’t be only the gasoline chip but the milk, sugar, coffee, meat and all-and-sundry chip. As JPII said to the Criollo bishops and an ad limina visit a while back, “Coraggio!” guys: ¡por gople que haya sido, el cielo NO nos a caido encima!

  14. It appears that most posters here are communicating philosophical, academic-style thoughts concerning polling and election politics. Bless you all. What about brass tacks? The obvious but un-intellectual things we all know to be true, if not academically cited or researched?

    The Consejo Nacional Electoral is under the purview of the government. It takes one line of code to skew results. It would be fascinating to do a study of the respective local, state and national election outcomes and compare those outcomes to the appropriate historical polls or news stories of the time. It might be discovered that the CEN is more art than science.

    Potentially (read: likely) skewed vote counts aside, the Chavez government is all about the give-aways (homes, appliances, food, $, etc). Are the give-aways increased before the elections? How is voting facilitated in poorer areas?

    Socialism in itself is not so bad – Norway is an interesting example of high-functioning petro-socialism. It comes down to political integrity. No government is perfect, but in the end we all hope for a government with enough integrity to function for the benefit of the body politic as a whole.

      • And this is good to know. As tempting as it is to discredit the vote (and as a trained economist, the support for Chavez continues to baffle me), this is the reason why there are opposition volunteers across the country in every voting station watching the count. On the CNE website it is also possible to view the vote counts by state, city, region, voting center, and even individual mesa if you wish to go that far.

        http://www.cne.gob.ve/resultado_presidencial_2012/r/1/reg_000000.html

        • And that is precisely why I brought it up- it was a point worth considering and one I hoped someone would speak to. I appreciate the information about CNE counts for this election- that’s one consideration addressed.

      • This election has given us a nice litmus test. Any illustrious commentators putting out fraud talk today are declaring themselves, once and for all, not only irresponsible but unserious and irrelevant. Dustbin material.

    • Government social spending did increase in this electoral year. Acording to a bbc article this morning:
      “In the run-up to the presidential election, Mr Chavez made low-income and social housing a priority, launching a plan to build three million homes by 2018.
      During the first quarter of 2012, the construction sector expanded by a whopping 29.9% compared with the same three months of 2011.
      That surge continued in the April-to-June period, which showed 17.6% year-on-year growth in construction.
      The housing drive has fulled big increases in public spending – and big expectations among those yet to be housed under the programme.
      According to Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, government expenditure has risen 30% in real terms as a result over the past 12 months.”

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19813533

  15. When I commented a week ago I thought Chavez was going to win, albeit by a smaller margin was my prediction, I also said all these optimism was a bit too much and was becoming a health problem for many.
    I was actually very surprised when I saw Barclays’ prediction. But in fact, I have to admit that this blog was highly misleading most of the time, but this delusional state of being is not exclusive of just this blog. Opposition press, i.e. Nelson Bocaranda had basically gave Capriles win as something inevitable.
    So I have to congratulate all these Chavistas who basically got it right. Not because they are right in the moral sense, which happens not to be the case in the opposition either, but because they seem to be more “grounded” than most of us, and that suffice.
    Naming people “troll” just because I dissenting opinion leaves many questions about moral integrity and maturity, so I just want to add that a bit of synderesis wouldn’t come as bad.
    Now is just to be seen what Comandante will do with his 1.5 m majority who, according to him, endorse socialism; because I don’t see how more destruction is possible.

    • I don’t see how more destruction is possible.

      I disagree. You can always be in worse shape. And some people still won’t learn.

    • Why don’t you tell that to your fellow countrymen and women who were out there, busting their asses, day in and day out, enduring all kinds of risks and all kinds of abuse, and put THEIR futures on the line in this campaign? Why don’t you tell them they were delusional as well? Put it out here so they know? So you were right in the end. You can divine a 10% difference in public opinion in one of the most fucked up political situations on the planet from the comfort of your armchair. You get the consolation prize. Feel better now? Jesus. Spare the lecture on moral integrity.

      • Dear Canucklehead.
        I think everyone has a role in society, mine is none, in the sense that I´m as insignificant as the big majority. So you can expect some people to have some important roles. One of them is to inform your fellow countrymen; someone on such a role must be careful, to say the less. I was optimistic as many of us, but not delusional. I knew Chavez was going to win, though I wanted with all my heart not to.
        If you as an individual decide to go the extra mile, that is, to fulfill an important role, like to inform, you must show restrain and touch. Because in the end a country is a country, and this Venezuela, like it or not, the big majority is pro-Chavez. You, as the side that claims to be on the right side of the moral spectrum, cannot fall on their strategy of intimidating, or lying. All the media that has supported the opposition has been delusional, and for instance this blog. You end up dragging people along with you. How would you address a guy like Luis Vicente Leon that was vilified, accused of being bribed and receiving money from the government? And all that just because he was saying what he saw in their polls? The same goes for YV polis, all these hair-pulled theories about ni-ni votes, indecisive and I don’t know what else? What for? How come?
        Chavistas were saying look, we’ve got 10% difference at least, sometimes they said 20%; but on our side we also said that Capriles was winning, 2 or 3% and so on. That’s why I say the moral triumph is not with Chavistas, but neither with the opposition.
        Fucked up as we are, Datanalisis proved there are trusted polls, or at least foreseeable situations, and our fucked up environment was not an exception.
        Feeling better? Not really, I have to endure all the difficulties in the Venezuelan countryside everyday, so I really wanted a change.
        Moral integrity is all what it matters for me, I don’t simply know to write about anything else, that and philosophy, and also what the hell are we. I won’t spare you, but you can always pass me over. I just expect from you not to ban me from my only hobby: talking bullocks.

  16. Maybe I’m blinkered, but does anyone else take solace in the fact that Chavez has a mandate from less than 30% of the population?

    To do the math;
    18.903.937 people voted of a population in 2011 (World Factbook estimation) of 27.635.743 means 68,40% of people in the country voted. With 96,61 % of the vote currently counted by the CNE, Chavez has 55,00% of the total vote, representing 7.963.061 voters, or only 28,81% of the population!

    My faith in the Venezuelan people and the Venezuelan country is not exhausted yet!

    • Is there a good reason to believe that ~55% of the remaining 19,672,682 don’t think alike?

      It’s down to demographics in the end. We have to see who those 7.9 million are. Do they tend to live in the cities or in the countryside? Are they majority men or women? Are they old or mostly young? To which economic classes do they belong? Do they follow Caracas or Magallanes?

      Here’s the thing: if they are a perfect representation of the entire Venezuelan demographic (and I don’t think they are in toto), then there isn’t much to hope for.

        • There are many lights, compadre.

          First off, if I were a chavista, I wouldn’t feel satisfied with these numbers(*). No 1×10, no “diez millones por el buche”, no 63/33 as so many were boasting. The opposition vote has grown immensely in comparison to the chavista vote, despite all the advantages that the latter has had. Presidential elections have always been the butt of the joke since 1998. This was close, and the evidence shows that these margins can be made narrower if the fight is maintained.

          Then, who are they? As I hinted above, I don’t think they represent the majority demographic faithfully. I haven’t made a detailed analysis, but chavismo appears to have a very stronger presence among male, middle-aged, non-urban voters. Conversely, we can say something like this about the opposition. So, how can the opposition broaden its base and reach out to this demographic?

          A very important, related question: how did the young vote fare? That is, those who participated in their first presidential election?

          There’s a lot to think about.

          (*): To Roni / Viva Chavez and others — triumphalism aside, do you? Now that we’re talking so much about objectivity.

          • Interesting your points.
            How would you find and cross the demographic with the electoral data?
            That could answer several questions indeed!

            • The CNE always publishes cutoffs for each state, municipality, parish, center and even mesa. The INE has made public all the census data, with a similar degree of granularity. It’s all quite complete.

    • Well, of course, 28M is the total population (which is actually closer to 30M now), which includes minors (under 18). There are 19M eligible voters. Of those, 41 percent voted for Chavez. So yes, not 55, but not less than 30 of the adult, voting age population. Sorry. I realize that’s not your point. But still.

  17. I disagree, Datanalisis managed to get the difference between Chavez and Capriles, but was telling us that 15.5% of the people were undecided. With 90% of the people voting, it is clear that they did not get these people to tell them what they thought. Moreover, Datanalisis was saying abstention would be 27%. To me all pollsters flopped.

    • Well, in fact most of these undecided people voted for Capriles. As for abstention 27% was below our historical figures, but that figure has always been lower when Chavez is facing elections.
      I think Datanalisis had a very approximate calculation, which cannot be said of others.

    • And moreover, these elections are good news for the opposition. 2 million of votes gained. Chavez grew probably 300,000 votes. My only concern is that this is probably our roof.

        • Chavez grew 650,000 votes, while the opposition grew almost 2 million. Now I just need to find the statistics about the REP in 2006 and 2012 and see how much did it grow. Then we can see how many votes were dragged by the opposition, leaving aside the hard voters

          • You make it seem as if the previous electoral ceiling for the opposition was Rosales’ defeat, and it wasn’t, we had already come close to reaching 5 1/2 million votes in the parlamentarias and the enmienda.. in fact, if you compare the enmienda to 7O, and take into account the growth in the REP and slightly bigger abstention then, the results are incredibly similar, even down to a state by state basis, as the enmienda was perceived by chavista voters as an election where el comandante’s leadership was directly at stake.

          • These are the growth statistics and I find them very encouraging.

            From 2006 to 2012:
            - the REP grew 19% = 18,903,937 / 15,922,003
            - Chávez grew 13% = 8,223,598 / 7,273,823 (extrapolating)
            - the opposition grew 57% = 6,680,786 / 4,266,937 (extrapolating)

            That’s impressive growth for the opposition brand: 57%, 2.400.000 voters. It more than doubles what Chavez grew: 13%, 950.000 voters. Chavez’ growth doesn’t even keep up with the REP’s growth.

          • Thank you very much guys for the statistics. Some people is pointing out that the REP is “pinchado” in those opposition states, I mean , Chinese, Iranian, and the like.
            Another important fact to find out is the demographics of the REP. How many people from 1994 were born and therefore how many of the new entries in the REP are Venezuelan by birth. Does that make sense?

  18. I take some solace in the fact that almost half of the vote went for the candidate that had the better plan for the country.

    You cannot fault the Capriles Campaign, insofar as they did the best with what they had against a campaign that had a communications and economic advantage that made it truly seem like David vs. Goliath. Except this time the stone wasn’t big enough to bring the giant down.

    Winged him, hurt him, but that giant is still on its feet.

    And almost don’t count in many things, including elections.

    It’s easy to throw up your hands and say: “F it, I’m outta here.”

    I myself, I’m not done, nor is my work done.

    Maybe I’m tilting at windmills, but I’m going to keep on keepin’ on.

  19. I don’t see how more destruction os possible?

    How much more destruction is possible starts with all private industry, dollar-holding rights of any description (nails you down to be disposed of at will), right to private residence (buy/sell/inherit etc at a price set by you), right to travel at all at all, the list is long and even includes a right to eat (in a land of rationed food). Polar is still there too: it would stand high on any list of ‘next for destruction’. And a lot of etceteras.

    As for the demographics, I’m with Dirichlet: who were they all and where are they all (basically, why did they opt as they did, after all that’s been wreaked upon them? (Thinks: Is there a collective version of the Stockholm Syndrom?)

    • In politics, the Stockholm syndrome has always been the opposite, i.e. a politician that flatters with harsh critics.
      But we could have a new phenomenon in Venezuela, as you argue, a big part of the population feels sympathy for a political elite that has destroyed the country.
      Well not really, perception among chavistas is that Chavez is the only one who has done something for them.

      • Well not really, perception among chavistas is that Chavez is the only one who has done something for them.

        Yes, this is the majority of (intellectually undeveloped) chavistas for whom washing machines trump ‘endeudamiento’ and other lofty economic topics that have no relevance for their lives.

        Now one can better understand the logo: el corazón = patria = Chávez.

  20. I have a question and I would like the answer to be explained as if I were four years old: Why does te CNE count abstention as “electores escrutados”? :p

    I’ll post the results straight from the CNE as of oct 08 at 9am

    Número de Electores Esperados. 18.903.937
    Número de Electores escrutados. 96,61 % 18.264.080
    Número Total de Votantes que votaron realmente. 14.756.841
    Participación. 80,79 %
    Número de Votos Escrutados. 14.756.841
    Número total de Votos Válidos. 98,1 % 14.476.768
    Número total de Votos Nulos. 1,89 % 280.073

    • The second number is a transcription error on their part. It’s meaningless and confusing.

      With 80.79% participation, you would expect 15,275,490 votes. That’s 100% of yesterday’s votes.

      So far, they’ve gotten 96.61%. That is, 14,757,650 out of the number above. This is in line with the “número de votos escrutados” figure.

      • Still, 80% voluntary participation of a 100% voter registration of all 18/older is not only suspect, but practically impossible. It seems like, once again, the Oppo got caught in the same as the RR, when MCM of Sumate said that the voting results were “blindados”. And, not to mention losses now in Zulia, Miranda, and Nva. Esparta, where the Oppo had won 4 straight times since 1997–doesn’t pass the smell test.

        • I find a couple of the numbers yesterday a little bit suspect. The numbers would support a story where Chavez see Capriles winning given the huge amount of votes he receives and then decides to turn on his dark magic to increase chavista turn out. The number of people voting for Capriles was huge. I particularly interested in understand how Chavez won in some states where he has been struggling hard previously.
          If the numbers are legit it seems like the president vs parlament/governor effect is what saved him, which of course could be the case. Does the Mesa de la Unidad have some sort of independent summing of the numbers from each table?
          Look at the numbers from MP. Moran in this article and compare them to the final numbers from the CNE: At the publishing of this article Chavez had 34.145 votes, Capriles 20.435 votes. In the current results (99.02% counted) Chavez has 43.747 while Capriles has 22.475. That is a huge jump for Chavez, not impossible but definitely something to look into for somebody who knows Lara state. Chavez said yesterday: estamos peleando Miranda and Lara. How could Lara go from 50.04%/49.17% to 50.63%/48.58% in the last X (10/15?) percent counted?
          Could somebody more knowledgeable help me out here? Also, could anybody tell me if they the rumours that the opposition was ahead with 1 million votes earlier was based on something more than pure optimism?

    • Numero de electores escrutados corresponde al total de votantes registrados en las actas que ya han sido procesadas/recibidas:

      Número de Actas Esperadas. 39.364
      Número de Actas Procesadas. 95,5 % 37.596

      La diferencia entre 18.903.937 y 18.264.080 son los votantes en las 1768 actas que no han sido recibidas.

      • But he didn’t win it by a large margin. He won by 8 points, but he need it at least 12-15 points. Meanwhile, Chavez won San Francisco, Cabimas and other rural areas by landslide. He made up the difference and then some.

          • creo que la gente subestimo la maquinaria chavista. mas alla de las amenazas ante las que mucha gente sucumbio, el psuv llamaba y buscaba a la gente el dia de la votacion en sus casas y los llevaba a votar…

  21. I still think Henrique Capriles was the right man. Sorry, cannot muster a smart word, still way too sad and disheartened.

    And to top it all, tomorrow I’ll have to endure my La Cámpora coworkers -who cannot tell the difference between Maracay and Maracaibo- celebrating Chávez’s victory and lecturing me about my country’s sociopolitical composition…

  22. since he was elected as candidate i knew he had no chance!, the fact that most of the educated people liked him, was the doom, people in the opposition needs ti realize the kind of place we live in, we needed someone like chavez but from the other side, not someone like capriles…
    capriles no sumo votos, simplemente logro mantener los q ya teníamos, donde esta la supuesta fuerza de capriles? todo fue un engano. los ricos de la oposicion pusieron a un riquito de candidato y se comieron el cuente de que ya había ganado… a chavez nada mas lo saca otro chavez y esa es la desgraciada realidad de este país.

    • Yes and no.
      Do you really believe the threshold is education? When you mention well-educated do you correlate that to well-to-do?
      Don´t you think is a contradiction to fight Chavez with another Chavez?
      Yes, your thesis about Capriles is that of AD and UNT, that Capriles was too posh and we needed someone like Pablo Pérez; but in the end we went for internal elections and he won.
      As for no sumar votos, there is an increase of 2 million votes from Rosales to Capriles, that is a 57% compared to 13% of Chavez in the same period.
      Venezuela’s reality is a whole question in itself. I don’t really think you grasp how complicated is our “reality”.

  23. “Capriles no sumó votos”

    Comparado con 2006 los votos de la oposición crecieron un 57% = 6,680,786 / 4,266,937
    los de Chávez crecieron 13% = 8,223,598 / 7,273,823
    menos que el REP 19% = 18,903,937 / 15,922,003

    Capriles sumó 2.400.000 comparado con 950.000 nuevos votos de Chávez.

    Capriles ha hecho un trabajo extraordinario. El mensaje está calando. Lo importante es que no se abandone y se use ese capital político para las elecciones de gobernadores en Diciembre.

  24. Si comparar los resultados del 2006 con los de ahora es lo único q les da esperanza bien por ustedes, pero están equivocados, elección es elección sea cual sea, y en las ultimas elecciones la oposición consiguió casi 6 millones de votos, y el chavismo un poco menos, desde el 2006 un numero importante del chavismo paso al abstencionismo y esta campana fallo en atraer a ese grupo de casi 3 millones q a la final se fue de nuevo con el chavismo, la oposición saco prácticamente lo mismo que había sacado en la ultima elección, capriles el gran puente entre los dos mundos quedo como aquel puende caido de miranda!
    si quieren subirse mas el autoestima pueden comparar los resultdos con los de 1998 y decir q la oposición subió 900 %.
    Capriles no sumo votos, al contrario, logro que los q se habían alejado del chavismo, volvieran a el.

    • “elección es elección sea cual sea”
      En esto no puedo estar para nada de acuerdo. Las elecciones presidenciales son un animal totalmente distinto de las elecciones parlamentarias. Diferentes candidatos, diferentes percepciones por parte de la gente y sobre todo lo que está en juego es totalmente diferente.

      “el 2006 un numero importante del chavismo paso al abstencionismo y esta campana fallo en atraer a ese grupo de casi 3 millones q a la final se fue de nuevo con el chavismo”

      “Capriles no sumo votos, al contrario, logro que los q se habían alejado del chavismo, volvieran a el.”

      Tampoco estoy de acuerdo con la suposición de que los chavistas dejaron de ser chavistas para convertirse en ‘abstencionistas’. El abstencionismo no es una corriente política, en todo caso es un indicador del interés que tienen los votantes de participar o no en una eleccion. Es precisamente por eso que no se pueden comparar legislativas con presidenciales. Cuando Chávez no es candidato el interés simplemente no es el mismo, la maquinaria no funciona igual y las presiones para votar no son las mismas.

      A pesar de que es comparar peras con naranjas hagamos el ejercicio de todas maneras:

      Entre el 2010 y el 2012:
      - El REP creció 6% = 18,903,937 / 17,772,768
      - La oposición creció 17% = 6,623,956 / 5,674,343 (incluyendo el PPT)

      Es decir que el REP creció en 1.100.000 electores y la oposición en 950.000. Y eso sin tomar en cuenta que el contendor pasó de ser unos desconocidos diputados rojos a el mismo Chávez con todo el abuso de poder, las cadenas, la maquinaria, los regalos y su cara pegada en todo el pais. A usted puede parecerle poco importante ese crecimiento pero yo creo que es bien significativo a pesar de que la comparación para mi no tiene sentido.

      NOTA: No comparo el crecimiento de Chávez con respecto a sus diputados porque realmente es una competencia muy desigual y no prueba nada.

  25. Mierda: tantos anyos y siguen sin entender a sus compatriotas. Como es posible que tus predicciones, Quico (y las de los otros en este blog) sean tan consistentemente equivocadas? Es para reirse. Y sagun la prensa ‘occidental’ tu eres un ‘experto sobre Venezuela’.

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