In Johnny We Trust

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It really is an extraordinary situation: I don’t think we’ve ever faced such a bizarre, contradictory opinion polling outlook less than two weeks ahead of a vote. The race is either neck and neck, or Chávez is easily ahead. At this point there’s no use torturing the polling tea-leaves for a better answer than that, or hoping for a last minute convergence that just won’t come.

I realize the uncertainty is driving us all slightly batty. I realize we’re angry that the shamanic lords we mislabel pollsters can’t seem to dispel our doubts.

But folks, we might as well take a deep breath, because it’s only going to get worse from here on out. Exponentially worse, building to an insane peak circa 1:30 a.m. on Monday, October 8th, when we’re all going to be good candidates for admission to an insane asylum.

So here is Caracas Chronicles’s patented Survival Guide to the Next 12 Days:

  1. Pour yourself a nice scotch
  2. Watch a stupid RomCom
  3. ‘nother scotch, with a Flores de Bach chaser
  4. Take a walk around the block
  5. Hook up that bottle of Johnny Walker directly to an IV drip
  6. Mix in some Lexotanil with that drip
  7. Breathe in slowly, exhale, then cry a little
  8. Repeat steps 1-7

Seriously, we look to polling to attenuate some of the psychological toll of heading into a momentous event without a clear picture of what to expect. This year, that’s not a useful strategy. If you came here looking for us to fill in that gap, keep walkin’.

1 COMMENT

  1. This looks like good advice for the week after as well, and the week after that one, and the week after that one. Damn, its good advice for any week of this year, and of those of the next , and the next, and the next…
    Being a Political Junkie is hard.

    • If we learn the results at 1:30 am. then we’ll probably know who’s won.
      if we learn the results at 8:30 pm. then the aforesaid applies also.

  2. There is no way the CNE does’nt drag this out on election night. So my plan is Johny Walker till 10 pm on Oct 7……then 1 Ambien to knock me out…… up at 6am for work and bite my nails until my computer refreshes and I see the headlines!

  3. I think Quico is right, we need to take a deep breath and remember that polls are snapshots of the past, not predictions of the future.

    As much as we’d like to be reassured that there is a brighter future ahead of us, we need to trust that the campaign is being run how it needs to be run in order to win.

    Here’s a few thoughts to help out:

    Datanalisis latest results continue to show that Chavez is dead in the water and that Capriles keeps gaining ground. So do other respectable pollsters. You ever see how great sports teams win long tournaments? You ever notice they try to reach peak performance by the day of the final game? I posit that the trend we are seeing with Capriles will give us that peak by Oct. 7th.

    The election is 11 days out. 11 days before elections is like 35 dog years, a lot can happen between now and then.

    Capriles has shown remarkable clarity of message and has barely made a mistake whereas Chavez’ campaign has been full of mistakes, lack of enthusiasm and little physical prescence compared to other campaigns of his.

    The Fear Factor is real, it is out there and it has had, and will have, an effect up until Oct 7.

    For the first time, there is a cadre of witnesses and other support personnel in place to cover almost 100% of the polling stations. These folks are trained, have contingency plans in place and have support outside the polling place.

    From Comando Venezuela:
    Operación Victoria:
    133,893 Testigos electorales que resguardarán 39,226 mesas electorales
    40,000 voluntarios encargados de la logística
    82,530 voluntarios que movilizarán a los votantes
    Total 256,423 voluntarios

    That’s a QUARTER MILLION PEOPLE folks. Suppose 20% of them follow Quico’s recipe above a little too much, that’s still TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE working to defend the vote.
    Can you think of a Venezuelan election that had that type of dedication?

    I can, methinks 1998’s did have something similar.

    I am not advocating that we pretend it’s a rosy future, I am saying we have a real shot at changing our country for the better, for all of us.

  4. I have been super stressed for about a week now.We are traveling a few days before the elections, and I am already worried that I won’t always have wifi for my IPAD.

    Would add that I feel we are actually being harassed by the polls.

  5. I’ll sit beside my friend Cacique that night. I fail to understand how the most advanced, rimbombant, state-of-the-art, efficient and fast electoral system in the world takes so damn long to give results. Oh, this is Chavez government, I forgot!

  6. Here. I just saw this video and I ended up smiling, the energy is contagious!
    I specially liked the 2 step jump HCR took to the stage @ 2:47. Shows an energetic guy in very good physical health. I can’t imagine Chavez even going two steps up without holding on the railing…

  7. From Hunter S. Thompson’s novel “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” from late 70’s: “Speaking as your attorney, my advice to you is to drink heavily.”

    Seriously, I am not even in Venezuela, and the tension is getting to me, on the other side of the Atlantic.

  8. Meh. To me the opposition wins no matter what. If Capriles pulls an upset, they can start doing things to actually fix the country. If Chavez wins, he won’t do anything and things will only get even worse for him as the country falls apart.

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