Poll Wars: Middle-class alert

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A new poll in Venezuela is showing continued deterioration in Venezuelans’ perceptions of their country, and of President Nicolás Maduro.

The Venebarómetro poll, done by respected pollster Ivad in conjunction with Croes, Gutiérrez & Asociados, shows a worsening of the trends for Nicolás Maduro:

  • 84% of Venezuelans think the situation in the country is “bad,”
  • 57% of Venezuelans blame Maduro and his government for inflation,
  • only 27.4% of Venezuelans think his government is “good,”
  • 65% of Venezuelans think the government does not respect human rights, and
  • the opposition has an advantage in voting intention of close to 20 percentage points.

The numbers aren’t just bad, they’re getting worse when compared to the previous month. (For example, in April 30.6% of Venezuelans supported Maduro’s government, according to the same poll)

The startling thing, though, is how there is a real need out there for an independent option. Many voters are disenchanted with the Maduro government, but the MUD’s numbers are not all that great. When asked about the alternatives to substitute Maduro, 20% think the alternative is within chavismo, 28% think it’s in the MUD, and a whopping 35.4% think the alternative is an independent.

In fact, the percentage of people who define themselves as neither opposition nor government has grown to 30.7%, up from 23.3% a year ago. Most of these people are opposed to the government, but they don’t automatically identify with the MUD.

Who are these people? We find out toward the end of the file:

Clase media

Notice how support for an “independent” option is strongest in the middle classes, in sectors C and D. These are the people who earn wages – factory workers, public servants, school teachers and the like. They are the ones who have seen their purchasing power and their personal safety more dramatically affected. They are the ones who look to the MUD – particularly, its political parties – and do not find answers to their problems.

The MUD leadership needs to do a better job speaking to the concerns of these Venezuelans. Otherwise … some outsider might come in and sweep them off their feet.

People want hope. They are increasingly worried about their future, and their prospects for leaving the country are close to zero. They want answers to the economic and safety issues that plague them.

And what is the MUD arguing about? The logo on the card in the voting ballot.

I dunno, but it seems as if the MUD is seen as worrying about themselves more than the voter. If a large chunk of Venezuelans perceive them as hopeless navel-gazers, the environment will be ripe for some outside option to give Venezuelans hope out of this mess.

Let’s hope the MUD hears the message from this troublesome study.

37 COMMENTS

  1. It’s probably worth nothing that the poll is from June 11. Yes, June, not July. It would be interesting to see how much things have changed in the past month. Probably not much.

    I like that he has an approval rating of only 27%, with 71% disapproving.

  2. I would seem that Marea Socialista is trying to jockey into that position, yet the Chavistas no prestan el coroto.

    As for MUD, it’s been in an attrition war with Chavismo with so little to show. Their image is a tired and sadly ineffective.

  3. “only 27.4% of Venezuelans think his government is “good,”

    Only 27 % ?!?!

    That’s almost One Third of the country.
    How many Millions like Vzla’s Disaster ?
    Who are they?

    1/ Sadomasochistic weirdos.
    2/ The 3 Million Thieves that work directly for Masburrismo.
    3/ The other millions who are leeching in many ways from the corrupt dictatorship.
    4/ Completely ignorant and massively under-educated “Chavistas”.
    5/ A sum of all of the above

    • Do let me remind you that this is a country that elected Chávez 4 times, and he won his closest election by almost 11 points.

      • With his Fraudmatic Chavezmatic Smartmatic Olivetti machines, plus the massive Oil bribes or threats, systematic Constitutional violations since 1999, plus heavy Gerrymandering, Media Control, massive state-run Propaganda, anything is possible. Even Masburro can win with such an arsenal of massive Deceit.

        El Mago (y su dulce hermanita Delcy, con TibiBitch y la CNE)

        • Well said. That is the footnote that needs to accompany every reference to HC’s political victories. To leave that out and cite his victories as confirmation of his popularity, ideological brilliance or governing prowess is infinitely misleading

    • I’m not sure “like” is a feeling you can associate with the 27%, at least not all of them.

      Plenty of people fearful that the pollster will let the government know how they opined, or find that they don’t mind living the way they do, or whatever.

      Awful? Yes! Shameful? Doubly so.

      Question is, what are WE going to do about it?

      The MUD has shown time and again that they put their interests first, before all else.

      Why else should we have Henry Ramos Allup as a “consensus” candidate, for example?

      Like him there are many.

      Notice how the leading “not quite MUD, but there because they need the support possibilities” are in Jail or barred from running.

      Leopoldo Lopez, Maria Corina Machado and Ledezma ( you could argue he’s got some “straw tail”, but….)
      are the candidates for taking up the Independent mantle, and precisely upon them has the jackboot fallen hardest.

      No coincidence there, is there?

      • “…Ledezma ( you could argue he’s got some “straw tail”, but….)”

        Yeah, it’s quite difficult to tear off that bullshit that dictates that “every adecopeyano who’s older than 40 is automatically a thief and MUST have stolen something at some point”

        Don’t people wven stop to think for five seconds that if someone had an actual straw tail, that would be the part where chaburros could grab them, instead of making up bullshit stuff like “charges for terrorism”??

        Hey, if 16 years being one hated person for a dictatorship and you haven’t been accused with an actual charge doesn’t prove that your record is somewhat clean, then fuck that, pal, keep believing every venezuelan is a turd that deserves whatever disgrace befalls them…

      • Yes, I agree Ralph. It sucks when you are a politician from “La Cuarta” and that automatically conveys a bad odor, regardless of your past performance.

        This has always been a point that Chavismo makes over and over, and will need some time before that tag goes away.

        Problem is, there is little time for that.

        However, pretty soon that will be the fate of Chavismo too.

        The Circle of Life!!

  4. That has been basically my concern for the upcoming elections.

    Even though there’s a growing tendency of people against the current administration, the MUD has not been able to fully capitalize on such phenomenon.

  5. “In fact, the percentage of people who define themselves as neither opposition nor government has grown to 30.7%, up from 23.3% a year ago. Most of these people are opposed to the government, but they don’t automatically identify with the MUD”.

    These are the Hordes of Rats jumping ship.

    The Chavista enchufados that crave a piece of the next cake. The Rangels of Kleptozuela, the Aporrea apologists, who are starting to blame Maduro for everything, while still claiming to be Chavistas, because they know our pueblo is ignorant enough, brain-washed enough, to the point of supporting them.

    The “socialist” Rats are running to the center, looking for some place to hide like a latent, deadly Ebola virus. Preparing for the announced Amnesty. They know that Musburrismo is doomed, who wants to to cheer for a doomed government, or stay on the Titanic in the middle of the final storm?

    The Kleptomaniac Rats simply follow the putrid scent of the Millions of die-hard, massively uneducated Chavista pueblo, who are ignorant enough to still think Chavismo and Cuba are great, while we’re under Imperialistic economic attacks. Countless herds of salivating hyenas and vultures changing sides in the turmoil of the night, waiting for their next chance to continue stealing and leeching.

    Rest assured, The MUDcrap will accommodate everyone. Thugs, creeps, leeches, Thieves,Chavistas-lights arrepentidos, all are welcome for the next ‘Grab-all-you-can’, ‘quitate-tu-pa-poneme yo’ MudMess Festival.

    Rats simply change disguises, maybe repent a little bit, and shift all the blame to Masburrismo as opposed to Chavismo. After all, that’s EXACTLY what Chavez and Cabello put El Burro there for, as a Tonto Util, to take all the blame, a bloated Decoy or Flare, while they rearrange the next Oily Pie and the new juicy Coroto.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/32225081@N07/7126685325

    • In other words, “El Pacto”, part 2. That allowed Ortega’s rise to power.

      I see those bastards lining up to vote for Jaua or one of Chávez’s daughters 5-10 years after the fall, makes you wonder why the people out don’t want to come back /s.

  6. “If a large chunk of Venezuelans perceive them as hopeless navel-gazers, the environment will be ripe for some outside option to give Venezuelans hope out of this mess.”

    That’s why we are here now, in this mess.

    “Basta de esperanza, queremos realidades” – a grafitti I saw some years ago

  7. That last question does not really mention the MUD per se.
    It is talking about the party of your preference.
    I personally support the MUD but do not feel identified with any of its parties in particular.

    The 48.7% that responded NINGUNO are 528 people.
    Of those 66 or 12.5% are for the government but not the PSUV.
    193 or 36.5% are for the opposition, they may be like me, supporting the MUD but not a specific party.
    269 or 51% are neutral. Some of them may also support the MUD but not a specific party.

    • Sure, but that’s splitting hairs. I think the other slides clearly show that there is a disconnect between being “opposition” and/or “opposing Maduro” and your willingness to support MUD. I think the slide I highlight shows disconnect is largely housed in the middle class.

      For example, slide 33 says that support is: 33% for opposition candidates, 28% for independents, and 21% for chavistas. When you filter for people who are sure to vote (next slide) it comes out to 41% oppo, 28% independent, and 22% government.

      In a context where 60% of Venezuelans identify with the opposition, the MUD brand is getting about 41% support. That is a problem.

      • Juan, if you consider other polls from the last few years, things have hardly changed. The core Chavista has been around 33% for years on end. It seems almost as if this were a genetic thing: there are people predisposed to alcoholism, just like that.

          • “…the lack of responsibility by the normal folk who don’t realise they have a say in shaping those politicians.”

            It might have something to do related to the antipolitics brain gangrene, that says in an axiom that “every person who dedicates to some public office is inherently a dirty lying thief, and because I am a superior and pure being, I’ll never support any of those filthy mortals.”

          • If Chavez completed the destruction of the reputation of traditional pols and recent disastrous experiences have destroyed the reputation of Chavista pols then thru mutual destruction both sides have destroyed each other and fed the rise of a new brand of anti politics . Ralphs definition of ´the antipolitical brain gangrene’ is magisterial. That leaves a large part of the population in a political limbo , without candidates to support . Can democracy work if a mayority adopts anti politics ?? maybe but very awkardly and as Rafael subtly suggests such situation can be an invitation for the surge of Messianic Tyranical Supermen to take over the conduct of public life.

            Also if you look at it carefully Chavez himself spread the evangelic message of anti politics , you dont need politics if all power is vested in an all powerfull, all knowing beatific superman . Our current situation is part of his legacy once he died and his succesors were unable to keep the hallucination going.

            Many people have stopped believing in the sacrosant vision of a democracy that is the epitome of all saintly virtues , democracy has been sacralized and idealized in a way that makes people necessarily dissapointed at its results. Our modern western civilization has transformed democracy into a demolatry, The fetichization of democracy cannot stand the test of natural human reality , The ideal of democracy has been hyped to such heights that only angels can practice it with the piousness that it demands .

            Maybe we have to develop a new more realistic , more drab and functional view of politics in a democracy , one that normal human beings can practice and do their business in . Do we have anyone thats capable of downsizing democratic expectation to where they fit human reality ?? Do we dare break the taboo that makes our sparkling pure view of democracy untouchable by human hands ??

          • I’m more hopeful. The #RedesDisidentes movement at least knows very well that without politicians they are going to get another Chávez.

      • ” slide 33 says that support is: 33% for opposition candidates, 28% for independents…”

        But… who are those independent candidates?

        That seems like an abstract question where people are wishing for someone hypothetically better to come along.
        That could be the result of people not having enough information about MUD candidates due to the lack of access to mainstream media and the negative propaganda of the government. Also another group may be frustrated by the lack of concrete results from the MUD, because they expected more. Those two groups, even if not completely happy with the situation and wishing for someone better, would probably still vote for the MUD candidate anyway, whomever he or she is.

      • I’m not saying you are wrong, it is just that is not that specific statistic that worries me. I find it worrisome (and also an opportunity) the answers in slide 36 where 29% of Neutrals would not vote with 25% voting opposition (and apparently about 40% would not answer either way).

  8. Several comments :
    1. Note that the MUD in the graph does not appear as a separate icon, only the main parties that it includes , this might mean that even though people are oppo in intent and spirit they don not identify with any particular party withint the MUD , in short that the MUD to the extent that it generally represents the opposition to the regime is stronger than all those parties which are linked to it.
    2. Aristotle once wrote that more important than the people who supported a particular faction was the strengh of feeling of those that opposed it . Lets keep this in mind .
    3. Evidently this govt is unpopular and becoming more so , there are in fact many more people angry at it than there are people who support the MUD . Probably people who identified with the old Chavez movement ( which by definition meant learning to enjoy hating the oppo ) but who now feel angry and defrauded with the current succesor to the Chavez regime.
    4. These people are stranded between three difficult options , one to express their anger against the current regime by reluctantly voting oppo ( which they learned to hate as part of Chavez seduction process) , to vote for the dissapointing new incarnation of the Chavez regime (which they now hate) out of sentimental loyalty to the old ideals or three to abstain from voting altogether and staying at home .
    5. This means that this dissapointed Chavista vote will split into three groups , A. those who will vote for the Oppo because their hatred of the new Chavista regime is greater than their dislike of the traditional opposition . B. those who will pinch their nostrils while voting for the regime candidates for old times sake and C. those disgrunteld who will abstain ( the let them all go to hell group) .
    6.- My guess is that there will be more C’s than B’s and about an equal number of A’s and B’s. but thats just an educated guess .
    7.- that should tend to favour an oppo victory except that there are people no longer identifying with Chavismo or even basically oppo who feel dissapointed with the MUD in part prodded by its innner squablings or by the MUD’s inability to send a heart rousing message , or who have been rendered happless by the ‘its all useless’ mood and will join the group of the abstentionist ´’send them all to hell´group . Of course this last position will tend to hurt the chances of an oppo victory.
    8.- I suspect that its not peoples basic oppo or chavista feelings that will decide the elections but their respective dissapointment with the way the leadership of each faction has betrayed their trust.
    9. We all know that the Regime will use its control of the state machinery and of the ENE to fraudently or coercively raise the number of votes that favour it and reduce the number of votes that reject it. That although this will have some effect on the results , if the oppo showing is large enough it will not be able to stop an oppo victory .
    10.- The above would seem to indicate that the MUD would be well advised to do a number of things :
    A. stop the inner bickering and squabling and moral backstabing of its competing leaders . Make a show of strong enthsiastic devotion to oppo unity .Everyone in his own way has something important to contribute
    B. disown and reject the past , loudly proclaim their disvowall of the vices of the old partidocracia that ruled us duriing the 4ta. What the MUD proposes is a new deal !!
    C. Make clear that it is dedicated to the idea that taking care and giving opportunity to the poor is a basic pillar for future govt action . Honestly adopt this idea as a priority item , The message must not only be heart felt but convincing.
    D. Never stop criticizing to the fullest extent posssible all the misdeeds corruption and mismanagements of the current govt and their cruel cosequences for the common population .
    E. Keep a record of all govt electoral abuses and make sure they are broadly and methodically broadcast across the world so that outside pressure is kept constant inhibiting the govt from being too flagrant with those abuses .
    F assign to different leaders the task of shadowing different aspects of the govts failures and abuses and keep a constant attack on the most visible of the regimes leaders , letting them have it every time they say something stupid , for the top leaders like Maduro and DDC the attack must be in the form of a chorus , a barrage !!

    Sure there are other measures which the MUD can adopt and is adopting to prepare for the election but the above probably count as the main ones .

      • I once lost a pocket of money at brussels airport , when I got to the hotel and discovered I had no local currency to pay the taxi I changed a few dollars to pay my ride and then asked the concierge to please get me the airport police station . the conceirge was rather skeptical that the money would be found and given to the police , but I told myself something my parents had taught me ´la peor diligencia es la que no se hace ´and ‘tocar la puerta no es entrar pero hay que tocar la puerta’ , the concierge was surprised to learn that the pocket had been found and delivered to them and was waiting for me to retrieve it . This is just one example which has served me much in life , even when something seems improbable if you just challenge the odds , things happen. !! never give without trying.!!

    • BB’s partial comment,….”his succesors were unable to keep the hallucination going”. Made me laugh and think of the junkie that can no longer can get his “fix” and now has to live with reality. Not so different from what the die hard Chavistas are experiencing now, with the exception of the financially privileged of course.

  9. Let’s keep in mind that the campaign has not started yet. I trust most of those independents will vote for MUD candidates, considering that the situation is forecasted to get even worse, and that there won’t be significant outsiders running in this election; after all, the radical oppo is still part of the MUD.

  10. If almost one third of the country thinks the government is “good”, it’s time to pack the bags and turn out the lights.

    • No Paul , its time to stop thinking that democracy is capable of delivering a system where the bad ruler is always punished and the good ruler always rewarded . where the mayority or a big portion of the adult population are naturally capable of judging or understanding the difference between a terrible govt and a good or passable one, where most people can not be bought or seduced with populistic bribes or rethorically enhanced demagogueries .We have to desecralize the cult of demolatry and see both its limitations and imperfections so that these may be corrected or purged . above all we need a bold political imagination to think of ways in which this can be accomplished !!

  11. Looking at top lines, I think these results are disastrous for the MUD. The “bad” is associated with Maduro, but the Parliament elections are for local candidates, with the PSUV party showing by far the highest intention of vote with 22.9%, great strength in the D-E classes (80+% of the country), only superseded by “Ninguno”, which, in my opinion, a la chiquita, will vote by majority for where their jobs/pensions/benefits come from, particularly on the local level, i. e., for the local PSUV candidate. Forget about, at this late date, a man on a white horse sweeping up these “Independent” votes. These local Parliament elections have all the hallmarks of the last Gubernatorial elections, where the Oppo was supposed to win handily, but lost terribly (and, I know the economic situation has worsened since then, but the D-E Pueblo, in my opinion, on balance, locally, will still vote for those that can guarantee their meager income, no matter how miserable, vs. a vague promise of something MUD-better–thereby further dropping into the black hole socio-economic abyss).

  12. One thing to keep in mind about the ni-nis, is that people are more brave or careless with their opinion when it’s just a poll and not an election, the economy is bad and there’s a strong “throw the bums out” sentiment. But when it comes election day and they’re standing in the polling booth they tend to not vote for startup politcal parties and previously unknown candidates. HC’s first election was an exception to history.

  13. El clientelismo estructural promovido sistematicamente pro el chavismo en los ultimos 3 lustros afecta la equacion. el liderzgo chavista ha sido claro desde el primer dia, plata o plomo!

    En la venezuela actual, la demografica no beneficia a la oposicion. Los jovenes que apenas comienzan a votar tiene solo esta era chavista y su deformacion de la “cuarta” como referencias. Gran parte de la clase media ha emigrado o esta ya decidida a hacerlo, y la burocracias estatal, sobretodo a niveles locales, coincido, ejerce una influencia exaagerada en los ingresos y de lus beneficiados.

    Sumando laa grand desconfianza en el sistema eelctoral despues de sucivos conatoys a cusaciones, nunca investigadas, de fraude, lo que queda no es nada alentador.

    El chavismo se acaba primero por algun estllido social en mi opinion, que por un proceso ordenado de transcicion politica. Muy malo para venezuela como nacion.

  14. I’ve been waiting a long time to see how the Chavismo end game would look like. I still have more to wait. My impression, if any, is that saying…. “The night is darkest before the dawn!”

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