Before you read the tables below, a few things to keep in mind.
Polls: only one, that I know of, is calling already for a narrow Capriles lead. But all serious pollsters are having a positive trend for Capriles. His camp has even hinted that they are expecting a 500.000 victory margin. As such my trend study is walking hand in hand with these polling numbers so neither one is far of the mark :)
Votes: due to chavismo powerful blackmailing machine, it is my feeling that many people today will say that they are not voting for Capriles. But more than at any time in recent elections there is the strong possibility that hundred of thousand may change their vote at the voting booth..... thus I am expecting, and I come on record now with that, at least 200,000 votes more for Capriles than whatever polls say October 1.
Data: as always, my data comes straight from CNE pages and I pretend it as true. That means I am not dwelling on fraud reported in remote centers, etc... The point is that even with the CNE data, I see a Capriles win in October. If indeed the opposition manages to cover effectively all centers this time around, then the stronger a Capriles victory will be. Note: "total" numbers in the tables may not match exactly some of the totals numbers reported by the CNE because I have been rounding up a lot. That is, 123,456 becomes 123 or even 120 K votes.
Method: I confess that I have been a little bit more sloppy than in previous estimates. But my private life has been complicated since April and I simply do not have the time or energy to look into as much provincial information and trends as I used to do. Still, my starting point from past elections is good and I have tried to compensate my accidental sloppiness through very conservative estimates.
Starting points: I used the Rosales/Chavez of 2006. The most relevant election since then was the parliamentary election of 2010 because Chavez invested himself so much in it, making it an election about him, at least in part. In that election I considered the results for the "parlatino". In my opinion, the vote for an unknown Latin American parliament is freer of local factors, more likely to be a knee-jerk vote. There was, besides the opposition list, a PPT and an OPINA lists who did little but enough in some states to influence next October outcome, depending on how these voters shift. Being conservative I assumed that half of OPINA and PPT would go Capriles. The rest? Who knows... I do not subscribe to the opposition thesis that PPT votes will all go Capriles. The last starting block was the opposition primary results which I was sent to and processed last February in several posts.
Background: you may want to consult three previous posts to help you understand better some of the tables below, the post on why I gave Capriles a starting point of 5 million + vote from the primary result, the trend away from Chavez in popular classes as per my long term watch of Caucagïta, and the three key states of Bolivar, Anzoategui and Lara which I put in purple in one of the tables.
And now the tables. I discovered that I can copy paste excel tables in blogger but some format is lost. It does have the advantage of simplicity for me and the same background.
In the first table we look at how the pro Chavez vote went down between 2006 and 2010. I have noted the CNE registered voters in the first column but these numbers may change. There are there for reference in the relative strength of each state.
In pink we can see the states where chavismo dropped more than 20%, and thus the states where the opposition has the most to win, in particular by making sure that its representatives are watching out every voting station. and in purple what I consider the three major battle ground states. I am not including there Miranda and Zulia because they are very polarized states from the start and neither side can hope to make much inroads in those at this point. Besides both states have 99% odds to go Capriles.
In the last column I assume that Chavez will make some recovery of the lost ground, as much as 30% of the lost vote in states where his voters abandoned him by more than 20% and only a 15% recover of lost votes in the other states, since I assume that the lower drop meant a more seated polarization, less pickings for each side.
|Registered Voters 2012||Chavez 2006||parlatino psuv||PSUV-CHAVEZ drop in 2010||recovery 2012?|
|Registered||Chavez 2006||PSUV 2010||Chavez 2012?|
In the next table we look at opposition gains since 2006 when Rosales was candidate. This is the most complex of the lot, sorry.
First column, registered voters.
Second column, from my post in February as to my projections for Capriles based on the primary result. This is what I consider the lowest he will get in October.
Next column is Rosales in 2006, for the record.
Then we have the parlatino vote in 2010, which leads in the shift from 2006 to 2010 next column in percentage. Some cases in pink show that the opposition in some instances did lose a few votes, which is the case in Miranda that I am at a loss to explain, except that there OPINA did a good score.
Which leads us to the next column where I added the PPT and OPINA votes, particularly important in Lara, Miranda and Amazonas.
The last column adds up the 2010 opposition vote plus HALF of the OPINA+PPT vote. You will note that it is slightly below my Capriles prediction in base of his primaries. Let's call this column the minimum that Capriles will get in October, no matter what, still a hefty million more than Rosales in 2006.
|Voters 2012||Primary projection for HCR||Rosales 2006||Opposition 2010||OPPO SHIFT 2006-2010||2010 opina+ppt||OPPO LOWEST 2010?|
In this next table we have a first look at Chavez versus Capriles next October. This is my most conservative scenario, the worst that Capriles can do if his campaign were to start floundering through September.
Here I simply compare the votes between Chavez and Rosales in 2006 and what I expect these results to be in 2012 with Capriles. In other words, I see that Chavez has lost 1.3 million while the opposition gained 1 million (implying more abstention than in 2006, mostly due to chavista voters staying home). In this worst case scenario, Capriles loses by 600. But in the next table, I try to take into account other factors which reverse that result. But before we go there observe that this 1 million gain for the opposition offers very significant state gains compared to 2006, highlighted in pale blue. Miranda does not figure in the gains because Rosales did poorly there in 2006. But all logic, observations, etc., give Miranda to Capriles in October
|Registered Voters 2012||Chavez 2006||Chavez 2012?||Rosales 2006||Capriles 2010?|
Thus we reach the last table which is where more of my gut feeling and recent observations come into play, such as voiding the scenario where Miranda would not be won by Capriles. In that table I still remain conservative.
In this table Chavez 2012? and Capriles 2012? are values "corrected" from above. For example I actually improve Chavez in Guarico in spite of a bad result in 2010. But in general I improve Capriles and lower Chavez based on the political mistakes that Chavez perpetrates and the expected local consequences (not trying to be more impressed than necessary by Capriles street showings, remember, conservative estimates!)
With these corrections now Capriles beats Chavez by 100,000. I know, I know, it is all very subjective to my appreciations (and I can still change by October). But I persist and went further by adding two columns of states where I think there is a current down trend for Chavez and an uptrend for Capriles. These should come to fruition by September and then Capriles in my speculation will be ahead by 300,000 votes. Note that and uptrend for one does not imply a downtrend in the other. What I am trying to guess, among other, is how abstention evolves. By the way, in this "corrected" scenario I see almost 300,000 voters than in 2006.
|Registered Voters 2012||Chavez 2006||Chavez 2012?||downtrend Chavez||Rosales 2006||Capriles 2012?||uptrend Capriles|
So there you have it, my first official prediction. Capriles winning by 300,000. If any one can prove me wrong, you are welcome to make your case. It should not be too difficult as there is a lot of guessing and gut feeling above. But be warned that it is coherent and based on much more than how many people show up at Capriles rallies or do not show up at Chavez shows. If one were to use that criteria Capriles by now would be winning by a couple of million of votes.
In other words, what I am hinting at is that this election more than ever will depend on abstention, this one this time jeopardizing the chances of Chavez as his followers may not be ready to vote for Capriles but are more than ready to stay home in disgust. That is the number to watch on polls and through election day.