Likely voters

[Well, I’m in Perugia now – easily the most beautiful city you’ve probably never heard of – but more to the point, a place where I can sneak into the University computer labs and blog without worrying about the clock running. So I think I’ll blog a bit while I’m here.]

I’ll start with a note on the Datanalysis poll. The poll actually worried the hell out of me. The 57% YES number is predictable and probably right and consistent with past polling. That’s not the problem, the problem is with the Likely Voters number.

Datanalisis has it at 65%. But this they arrive at by asking people if they plan to vote. As everybody knows (or should know) this can be a real concha-de-mango. Answers to this question, in the past, have always OVERestimated the number of voters. Sometimes by a lot. People are embarrassed to admit to a pollster that they don’t intend to vote, this is a well-understood phenomenon. Therefore, the 65% figure is probably too high. Hard as it is for people like us to believe, there are still millions of Venezuelans who simply don’t care about politics one way or another. This is a fact, and we need to just deal with it.

So as a note to those of you who think there’ll be 8 million YES votes. Folks, aterrizen! There just won’t be that many voters! Besides, a third of the country is Chavista, even Datanalisis knows that!

So, for what it’s worth, I’ll give you my numbers: 56% Yes, 59% turnout. The YES side wins, but not by much.