Utter Debacle Chronicles

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Well, Consultores 21’s latest poll is not for the faint of heart. Conducted from January 27th through February 7th and based on 1,500 living-room interviews in 66 cities and towns, the thing reads like the opposition’s death certificate.

To start with, their basic map of Venezuelans’ political allegiances is not encouraging:

This next slide shows the country evenly split on whether to trust CNE. Two relevant things here: it contradicts the oppo sing-song that 80% abstention in December means 80% of voters don’t trust CNE. It also belies Jorge Rodríguez’s NAOR-based argument that vast majorities trust CNE.

But then look what happens when you ask people why they think the opposition parties pulled out…

58% think the opposition pulled out because they knew they would lose. Not surprising given that, if they had voted on Dec. 4th, 61% say they would have voted for pro-Chavez parties and only 39% for opposition parties. 51% believe the withdrawal does not make the National Assembly less valid, while 43% think it makes it less valid.

This following one surprised me: it shows Primero Justicia’s Julio Borges far out ahead of the pack of opposition pre-candidates, with Zulia governor Manuel Rosales running a creditable second. In polls, Teodoro languishes. In hypothetical head-to-head matchups, Chavez beats Borges 56%-34% (ouch!) and Teodoro 58% to 23% (double ouch!)

These next two slides really tend to make me think my countrymen have gone collectively insane:

This last one in particular is just staggering – 65% think Chavez can solve the housing problem, Chavez’s biggest performance black hole! Here my interpretative powers cease and I just stare at the screen in dismayed amazement. Hope springs eternal, I guess…or people just don’t learn…

Anyway, the whole poll reads a bit like this. You find that 49% of respondents agree that Chavez strengthens their right to have private property, 49% think the Supreme Tribunal is working to solve the country’s problems, that José Vicente Rangel has a higher favorable rating (34%) than Manuel Rosales (30%), and on and on and on.

You really have to comb through the slides to find any non-disastrous news for the anti-Chavez movement here (e.g. over 60% believe the media are working to solve the country’s problems.) Otherwise…bleak, very bleak…

…and all this before the pre-electoral populist spending binge even starts…

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