The title summarizes quite well the momentous results of last night, and momentous they were.
With 3 million people finding their way to the voting stations the primary overcame all expectations, including the ones of yours truly who was the lone voice around saying that we were going to go above 2 million. In fact in January 11 I was talking 3 millions but in front of negative reactions from readers and colleagues I went down to 2.5 millions (a bet I made last Saturday). So folks, I take full credit for that prediction which I will call a victory for me, just as I predicted the 69 seats of 2010. Datanalisis is my only challenger as of today (for that I eat some crow because I did not believe their 62% poll of last week for Capriles).
Now, after this self congratulatory note let's get into business: the outcome yesterday was fantastic. And it was due in part to Chavez mistakes in pissing so many people off. Truly it was a protest vote as even chavista areas did show a significant voting activity even if less than anti Chavez areas. If we assume the political dictum that at most a primary outcome represents less than half of the final outcome, this means that the opposition has 6 million safe for next October. Which is why Chavez is shaking so badly today. True, these were special and unusal primaries so there is no reason to think that indeed the opposition has 6 million votes safe for October. But even if we lower that to, say, 4,5 millions, then Chavez is in trouble: Capriles needs to get an extra 1 million to beat Chavez. In 7 months it is possible.
There is no need to worry much about the opposition unity after last night. The picture above is going to haunt chavismo worst nightmares for the next months. Maria Corina will become their electoral specialist and front woman (with new hero Teresa Albanes), Leopoldo will be in charge of making sure volunteers staff all voting stations, Perez will make sure Zulia votes massively, and all the winner of the other primaries will be campaigning hard because if Capriles loses they are toast. The 3 million of yesterday is the best possible stimulation one could have hoped for, the most committed team you can create.
Primero Justicia is top dog
The other momentous news came after midnight (that one I could watch live) when it was announced that PJ, Capriles party, had made a clean sweep of Miranda and scored a few big points around. PJ should be careful not to brag too much because the coattails were of Capriles and not for them, seen perfectly well in Caracas-Libertador where Ismael Garcia pulled it but with quite a few points less than Capriles in a district that Ismael should have never won. The winner last night, make no mistake, is Capriles more than PJ, though we must recognize that PJ is now the main opposition party of Venezuela. By far....
I am glad for PJ because it has paid an unfair price for the electoral union since 2008 as many were trying to stop the natural rise of the movement. I think people did feel that and punished the other guys, including unfairly Voluntad Popular in spite of its rallying to Capriles. Now my concern is that PJ does not go the COPEI way and become a vindictive party as some hints could already be seen in the nasty campaigns of Baruta and Chacao.
The 1.8 million of Capriles are not PJ, because in it we have 300K of PODEMOS et al, 300K of VP, probably 50K of MCM (el voto útil, you can see it on the polls now close on the right) and 100K miscellaneous. That Capriles had coattails is natural but they are his, I am just pointing this out in case someone at PJ reads my blog.
AD is a fiction
|El Chigüire Bipolar got it right, this is the AD electoral engine|
Speaking of parties that tried to sabotage the rise of PJ as much as possible, AD can only feel good about two things last night: it got the nod for Anzoategui and Apure governorship. It still needs to win them but their primary win is a meager consolation for a party that once was a mighty fortress. The rest was a disaster for AD (and COPEI, but who cares at this point)
Coming back to my earlier predictions in January 11, I could be told that I was wrong. In part it is true because I made the mistake that most observers are making, considering the AD electoral machinery as some sort of "dark matter". Except that I am delighted to say that this dark matter variety has been proven tonight not to exist.
On January 11 I wrote
which was my 3 million participation, and of which uncommitted I gave MCM 150.000 which is a little bit better than what she got, by the way- but I digress.
Now, if you add Lopez you get for HCR 1.422.000. Better already.
Now Capriles needs an extra 400K whereas Perez has an excess of 200K. Where was my mistake (even if globally I was doing quite well, pat, pat)? Part of the 400K will come from the uncommitted but the thing here is that my mistake came when I overestimated the COPEI and AD machinery. And the weird thing is that my overestimation is to say that they existed even if weak. Apparently they do not exist anymore and the win in Anzoategui is more of a fluke, due only to the character of the local guy rather than his actual ties to AD. From the near 900K that Perez got 600 are his alone from Zulia and UNT. The alliance that he worked so hard for, that made him delay so much his campaign start wounding him so fatally, did bring him at best 300K.
I should be mad at myself but I am overjoyed: AD and COPEI may finally be out of our system....
More to come but those are the quick ones easy to do without all the hard data in hand. And you get all my self congratulating. Unbearable, I know, but deal with it, I had a hard day yesterday.