Quico says: Well, coming just after the US presidential race, you have to say that the Venezuelan regional elections are a Data Poor Environment. The most recent comprehensive assessment I could find is a month and a half old.
Here’s how Datanalisis had the governor’s races back then:
Solid Chavista: 11 states + Greater Caracas
(Falcón, Lara, Trujillo, Mérida, Apure, Vargas, Aragua, Anzoátegui, Monagas, Delta Amacuro, Bolívar, Greater Caracas.)
Population: 12.7 million – 47% of the country.
Lean Chavista: 2 states
Population: 3.3 million – 12% of the country.
Solid Dissident Chavista: 2 states
Population 1.6 million – 6% of the country.
Lean Dissident Chavista: 1 state
Population 700,000 – 3% of the country.
Solid Opposition: 4 states
(Carabobo, Cojedes, Nueva Esparta, Sucre)
Population 3.9 million – 14% of the country.
Lean Opposition: 2 states
Population 4.7 million – 17% of the contry.
No election: 1 state
Population 0.1 million – >1% of the country.
There’s a fair bit of guesswork in these numbers, which are old to begin with. There are still plenty of places where splits within the government (Carabobo), the opposition (Bolívar) or both (Yaracuy) could still be resolved at the last moment and change the dynamic of the race.
You could legitimately ask whether Julio Cesar Reyes still counts as a “dissident chavista” after cozying up to the oppo leadership in Caracas, and to what extent the independent-minded Henry Falcón really counts as a chavista in Lara. And you can’t help but notice that at least three places that should be competitive (Greater Caracas, Anzoátegui and Mérida) don’t appear to be, because the government has conveniently disqualified the opposition’s strongest candidates via the comptroller’s office.
Still and all, that map seems like a decent baseline on what to expect on November 23rd. The government is still very likely to keep the governorships where most Venezuelans live. I say Miranda is likely to be the most telling race. For sheer symbolic weight, though, it’s hard to top Barinas.
(Of course, if you have a more recent assessment, do send it along.)