States to Watch Out For

Quico says: So, what would count as a “good” result for the opposition in the State and Local elections on November 23rd? How many states can we expect to win? What’s the baseline here?

One somewhat crude but handy way to approach that is to look at the results of the Constitutional Reform Referendum held in December last year. Broken down by states, the Dec. 2nd Map turned out like this:

(click to enlarge – numbers =”Sí” votes in 2007.)

The government won in 14 States while the opposition won in 8, plus the Distrito Capital. Falcón was split right down the middle (actually, Block A of the reform proposal got just over 50% in Falcón, Block B just under.)

The urban/rural split is very conspicuous in this map. The opposition won all four of the most populous entities in the country and seven out of the most populous ten: Zulia, Miranda, Carabobo, Distrito Capital, Anzoátegui, Lara and Táchira. The government won three of the ten most populous entities – Aragua, Bolívar and Sucre – but swept every one of the rural states.

Interestingly, the nine entities where the opposition won account for 62% of Venezuela’s population. Just 35% of the population lives in the 14 states the government won. The final result was close only because the government piled up big margins in rural states.