The Keller poll: trouble ahead for Chavez, and for us...

Unless of course he changes policies but good luck with that...

Keller, my favorite pollster in spite of some electoral mistakes in the past has published his trimestral survey of what he does best: evaluate trends.  Even though I do not dwell much on polls this one deserves a report.

UPDATED: I got a better PDF of the Keller poll.  Now the post is complete.

The bad

The poll covers only 78% of the country population in urban centers of more than 20K folks.  In other words it is useless as a predictor of September results since rural areas are disproportionately represented: 1 urban vote of Maracaibo is roughly equivalent to 0.3 vote of, say, Amazonas or Yaracuy (the reason I vote in Yaracuy as I could be registered in Caracas if I wanted too).

The good

Survey done late April, early may.  So it is the first one to measure the effect of the devaluation and electrical crisis on the population's mood.  A tad early perhaps but on time enough to start sensing it.

The basic result

Venezuelans en masse reject all the attacks Chavez has been doing on private property.  The more Chavez speaks of "socialism" the more turned off are the people.  It seems now that the bad results are finally catching up.  The opposition starts favorably its campaign, but many things can happened until September 26.

The details

How do people see expropriation?

80% of the people think that it cannot be justified to nationalize a well managed and productive private enterprise.  Clear result, no?

What are the results of expropriation?

This is examining what people think of some of the most noteworthy state take over. In order: phone company, Caracas electric power, Santander bank in Venezuela, steel complex of Guyana, Zulia oil industry contractors, cement complexes, cattle farms.  In purple the percentage of those who think that these companies have turned for the worse.  The right column is the difference between those who think it turned for the worse and those who think it improved.  Clear result, no?

Does Venezuela need a change?

And now the "psychological" effect of one year of crisis and going.  Does Venezuela need a change?  70% say YES.  When these 70% are asked what kind of change they have in mind 61% want a change of government, which is roughly 50% of the voters!

 Preliminary voting patterns

Last, how the voting intention I moved from the start of the year to today.  4 months of harsh "cadenas" and seizures and repression have only given chavismo 1 point (in red, "oficialismo" office holders).  The opposition in spite of its lethargy and mistakes still manages to grow by 3 points.  But, and this is a warning, toward "independent candidates".  That must be read as a weak progression if the opposition does not solve some of the problems left by its candidate selection process.


As I have written several times already, looking at that last slide the election is for the opposition to lose.  And it is quite possible still...

As for Chavez, after such a poll, expect the worst reaction.