As goes Valera, so goes the country

Hay un camino … hacia La Puerta!

Henrique Capriles is holding a massive rally in the small city of Valera, a place I’m sure many caraqueños have driven past a number of times but never stopped.

It’s a curious place to hold it since Trujillo is one of the most chavista states in the country.

But look deep down and you understand why. In Trujillo, the PSUV beat the opposition 63-36 in the Legislative elections of 2010. In spite of that, both camps were tied in that same election in the city of Valera. It was in the rural areas of the state where we got our asses handed to us.

That’s why we see Capriles visting, and re-visiting, places like Barinas, Cumaná, and Valera. He is making sure that places where we use to tie…actually flip to our side.

In fact, Valera is a pretty good bellweather. In 2006, Chávez beat Rosales in Valera 63-36, exactly what his margin was like nationwide. In the 2007 Referendum, the No barely lost to the Si in Valera, 50.09-49.9 (In the 2009 Referendum, the Si beat the No in Valera by 55 to 45, slightly larger a lead than the nationwide margin).

I’m thinking that the voting in Valera next Sunday is going to look an awful lot like the nationwide vote.

HT: Guido David.

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  1. It would be interesitng tocompare the phtos of this Rally to the one chavez gave last week. I am not sure, but I even think it´s the same place….

    • This is not about showing who has more people. Even with 10% of difference between Chavez and Capriles (Let’s give some credibility to government’s apologists) a candidate with 37% of vote intention nationwide can mobilize an awful lot of people in rallies.

    • I believe you, Asdrúbal. And welcome.

      Here’s my take:

      1. Faltan 9 días. En el interín, mucho puede cambiar.
      2. El que ‘suda más que papa en mondongo’ merece nuestros esfuerzos para ir a votar el 7 de octubre.
      3. De que ganara Chávez el 7O, y eso por un márgen pequeño, mantengo que Capriles formará una parte importantísima de la política venezolana. Ese flaco remontará la batalla en su tiempo apropiado. Apenas comienza a ganar fuerza.

  2. I was born in Caracas. I was raised in Valera. My family still lives there.
    To me to see this much people is jaw dropping. You’d asked me about something like this happening 3 months ago and I’d have told you you are nuts.

    I am not going to tell you that we are going to win because of this. I wish, but not sure. I just know that this picture means that we are playing a very different game from the one we have been playing all these years.

    PD: Maracucho, eres una rata, ese pie de foto…

  3. It’s true, Venezuela’s countryside is Chavista, I work in Sucre state, which I call the land of forgotten promises. The amount of Chavistas here is not normal, they swarm all over, and even that, the PSUV will lose all the mayoralties and the governorship because their inefficiency and indecency are so remorseless that cannot have historical comparison. But Comandante is above all that; although I have to admit that enmity between ADecos (namely opposition) and Chavistas here is lighter than in big cities. They use freely their vehicles and houses to portray candidates and political parties poster and slogans; it just doesn´t seem to be as polarized as big cities, even though problems are even greater and cumbersome.
    I don´t really think Chavez will lose, probably the result of living “cornered” by chavistas, but my scenario is that he will win by a very short margin. the opposition has already endorse the CNE´s procedures, so the fraud chanting scenario is not a possibility for them. Capriles will have to come out and accept the defeat and that´s it, to get ready for option 2: Chavez dying before two years time.
    I kindly accept rebukes

    • I believe we are going to lose for a tiny margin. But no time to cry. Time to keep going and gain strength. Things are not gonna get better for the govt and they have proved they cannot manage a country. We need to be patient and Henrique needs to learn his lessons from Mandela or San Suu Kyu. Wait, have patience, learn, use your enemies’ mistakes.

  4. I quote a comment from El Universal:
    “…es malo crear falsas expectativas, estoy en la Urb. La Plata en Valera y no puedo creer que CAPriles dice que llenó la Av. Bolívar, cuando esta avenida tiene 14 cuadras y solamente llenó 3 cuadras!! pasé por la Av. Bolivar (exactamente a las 12 del medio dia) y pude ver solo 3 cuadras. El presidente llenó las 14 cuadras!!, yo no se si fue con autobuses pero llenó toda la avenida. A mi con mentiras no me convencen y pude ver en Valera, en su avenida Bolívar solo 3 cuadras de gente; yo no soy chavista pero de que ese señor gana no hay pele, por lo menos acá en el Estado Trujillo no pierde. Será en otra parte que estará ganando pero no aquí.”


    • Trujillo: 56% Chavez to 44% Capriles.
      Sucre: 52% Chavez to 40% Capriles.

      Source: Datos’ September field study.

      Datos numbers seem coherent. Remember Cumana – where you’ll find the largest concentration of voters in Sucre – is not precisely a Chavista bastion.

      • And to be sure, just spoke with a friend of mine from Cumana who is into politics and owns several companies in Sucre and he assures me many Sucreños are turning against Chavez in this election….including his mother hehehehe.

      • If those figutres are true, then it is not possible that Chavez will win by 10% like Datanalisis, Hinterlaces, Datincorp and IVAD says, as we are hitting big in states where we normally received a landslide

    • According to my analysis of the FB pictures, he filled at least 6 blocks. There were people behind the podium too. This is incredible. I just talked to relatives there and they say this is something they had not seen in a very long time.

    • i dont know the real magnitude of the concentration, but using as a source an anonymous on a board someone who refers to Capriles as CAPriles and Chavez as the President (something only Chavistas do) while claiming not to be Chavista is probably not very reliable.

      • It´s bloody true. I didn´t even realized the CAP in Capriles. My intention was not to minimize the impact of the picture but rather to speak about the amount of people. The comment is not anonymous, I just copied from El Universal, probably I should have put the source more clear. I don´t see from the picture published more than those three squares the guy mentions, but I don´t really know Valera so if someone has better evidence it can be published.
        I don´t think that someone who supports Capriles 100% can also be a “reliable source”.
        That has been Venezuela’s problem for many years, believing that rallies are a secure source of political strength and votes.

        • Of course, comments on boards from any political spectrum, specially in sites like El Universal are not reliable to prove pretty much anything, the only evidence you have of the magnitude of the concentration are the pictures or the knowledge of reliable insiders. About the predictions if we are going to win or not, I honestly don’t think that’s very useful or reliable at this point. You and Guido predict we are going to win by a little, which is about as probable as us winning by a little. According to other polls we could even lose by a lot, there is no way at this point of predicting a narrow outcome based on perception. Is like saying, I think Capriles is very good but I don’t think that mathematically he can win that extra 1% percent because I don’t feel it.
          I agree about political rallies not being always a source of political strength and votes, but you can see that Capriles is gaining a lot of momentum, it remains to be seen if this momentun can make enough swing voters to vote for him and convince enough chavistas to abstain for him to win. I’m really haven’t been an Obama fan, but I think that is an apt comparisson to say that Capriles’ campaign has some of the same vibe that he had in 2008, the positive, youthful, cool campaign thing. In a week we’ll see if this plays out for him.

  5. I believe as the following goes, so goes the Country: States/(District) summing approx. 60% of total population which will go handily (with possible exception of Dto. Capital, which I believe will be favorable, maybe not handily) for Capriles:Zulia/Miranda/Carabobo/Dto.Capital/Lara/Bolivar/Tachira/Monagas/Nva. Esparta. All other states comprising 40% of total population will have to go very heavily pro- Chavez for Chavez to win. These are the states in which Capriles has been doing an excellent job campaigning, where the fraud has been most prevalent in the past, and where the Oppo (hopefully) will prevent fraud this time by having witnesses at all voting stations.

  6. To Quico and Juan: are you going to tell us your predictions for the elections? I’d suggest you set up a poll too so we can vote for who we believe will win the elections.


  7. Excellent article Juan. capriles team is very clear on who their target audience is, where they live (places like Valera) and what are the key messages they need to communicate. They are playing a very astute political marketing game with a lot of discipline. I am confident that this strategy will pay off O7.


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