Alfredo Keller’s First Quarter 2010 Poll fleshes out just how bad the polling atmospherics facing the government. This slide, in particular, is worth pondering: a straightforward "nature of the times" question asking people if, in general, things are going well or badly in Venezuela:
For decades, political scientists have known that these kinds of questions are some of the most powerful predictors of voting behavior, especially several months before a vote. That’s not to say that the government is going to get out-voted 2-to-1 in the fall, but it is to say that chavismo has certainly never gone into an election season facing such a hostile public opinion environment.
Which makes the dynamics heading into September…well…especially volatile. That, I think, is the right word. Volatile.