Henrique Capriles has decided to run again for Miranda state. As such he deserves an entry of his own in this series because it is an opportunity to discuss the nature of the opposition voter.
Capriles was elected in 2008 governor of Miranda state. On October 7 he added almost 200,000 votes to his 2008 result but still lost the state. Chavez managed to add 76K votes over his 2006 score and barely won. But he won.
The consequences for Capriles cannot be dismissed. If indeed he got 200K more votes his rule as Governor was not enough to convince Miranda people that he was good enough to counter Chavez blackmail. That is, if there is one area in Venezuela where the scandalous "bring in the vote" operation of chavismo of two weeks ago should have not worked is in Miranda. And yet it worked enough to allow Chavez what was perhaps the most surprising result within the election. In my opinion it means that Capriles needs badly to re-validate his seat as the only way to ensure he becomes the leader of the opposition. I will remind people that winners of primaries and runner up of general elections dust all the political graveyards of the planet.
Capriles has been a good governor, otherwise not only he would not have won the primary the way he did, but he certainly would not have added 200K to his 2008 total. But he was not good enough. It may be unfair for me to say that, but it needs to be repeated because there is a movement of folks that want Capriles to become as of now the supreme leader of the opposition. That is, many people inside the opposition are acting as chavistas act, only too willing to follow a leader, any leader.
Also there is the need to question the opposition strategy for last election and decide what should be the next strategy. This is for another post in this series, but I mention this here because Capriles will be able to play a role in that aggiornamento if he wins Miranda back, preferably with a 55% of the vote. I think he can do it.
Capriles may be the most glaring case for my point as to who has a role in the future, but I need to include more people who have the same problem than Capriles, though not as bad maybe.
Two governors of the opposition lost in their state with sizable margins. In Zulia Chavez won by 6 points and in Carabobo he won by 8. Clearly Pablo Perez and Salas Feo are in trouble. They did not subject themselves to primaries in February and now they are weakened. Their political future is at stake this December in ways it never was before. Losing either state, or both, would be a terrible blow for the opposition. If chavismo attempts soem constitutional treachery, it is essential that we retain Zulia, Carabob and Miranda and I am furious that we got such bad results there. The opposition needs to revise closely what happened there.
I have received in my mail box all sorts of comments and electoral analysis. Needles to say that whether they were good, they did not satisfy me. There was in particular a map that pretended to illustrate how Primero Justicia grew. It did not. In 2006 Primero Justicia got 11,17 %. Two Sundays ago it got 12,34 %. You may paint any map yellow or black or purple it will not disguise the fact that Primero Justicia did not grow what it should have grown, considering that it provided the opposition candidate. That is, if the opposition as a whole grew 7,35% since 2006, PJ portion grew only 1,17%. Such a meager result can only be explained by Primero Justicia more and more visible arrogance while its "ideology " is less and less clear. PJ risks becoming a dead weight inside the opposition campaign and could lead to a break up sooner than later. Thus PJ needs to make its own mea culpa if it wants to remain relevant in the opposition electoral front.