Tipping Point Circuits: The Simple Majority

The circuit most likely to bring the opposition its 84th curul is home to two well known, widely loathed chavista incumbents, challenged by two newcomers.


Which is the circuit most likely to bring the opposition a simple majority? Which one most likely to bring it a 3/5ths majority? And the covetted 2/3rds? It’s a question you need to be asking less than a week before the vote. And we’re here to help.

We carried out a simple exercise to investigate which circuits are most likely to represent the 84th, the 101st, and the 112th seat for the opposition. Basically, we just order circuits from most opposition to most chavista on the basis of election results since 2010, then weight them by the number of deputies they elect, then identify the circuits most likely to “tip us over” into each of the majorities.

This isn’t an exact science, but it does give us some sense of the kinds of places where we need to be competive to win each type of majority. And so, with no further ado,

The circuit most likely to bring the opposition its 84th diputado is

Distrito Capital 1

a.k.a. el oeste del oeste.

Tipping Point Circuit Maps.001

DC-1 is the prototypical urban chavista district: poor, hardscrabble, dangerous but, well, urban.

Where the hell is that? Catia and El Junquito

Parroquias: El Junquito, Sucre, La Pastora

It’s a two-member circuit, one that by coincidence we’ve already profiled. Both MUD candidates are VP activists. The first is longtime community leader Jesús Abreu. He’s lived in Catia his whole life and obviously has a following there: he won his nomination in an open primary. Fun fact, he only ever wears alpargatas.



The other MUD candidate is Marialbert Barrios, a young VP Primero Justicia activist who speaks fast and thinks faster. Marialbert had to be parachuted into this spot at the last minute after CNE imposed new gender balance quotason the race. She seems pretty impressive.

These two relative unknowns are taking on two PSUV candidates whoa re household names: Ernesto Villegas, the former chavista news anchor, and Freddy Bernal, the hyper-radical former cop and Caracas mayor who’s known as one of the government’s enforcers. Ernesto represents what’s left of chavismo’s leftist moderate faction, Freddy a much more radicalized and military infused wing. It would be enormously sweet to take them down…also, it looks likely, as this is very much the kind of district the opposition would have to take for a simple majority.

The PSUV campaign hasn’t been all that glowing in Catia. You know things are bad when this is the kind of picture your candidates are posting to their twitter accounts:


I’m no expert, but…ummmmmmmm…

Twitter was full of fun gossip about the rally-that-never-was in DC-1 on November 26th.


It would be sooooo sweet for a guy in alpargatas and a young girl to take down Ernesto friggin’ Villegas and Freddy friggin’ Bernal, wouldn’t it?


Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. FT, Junquito has, from family sources, possibly tipped to the Oppo. And, in Catia, even the buhoneros are having a tough time making a living.

  2. Do you really think this is the 84th seat? IMO, the MUD would probably have the simple majority well before they capture this seat, which has been consistently the most chavista of the Caracas circuits, and includes the Catia slums.

    But yes, losing Ernesto and Bernal would be a HARD blow to chavismo, considering they were put here because this circuit was their safest option. And it would be friggin’ sweet for us.

    • The point is that if you organize all electoral circuits in increasing order of “chavistaness”, this one lies at the 50th percentile. The opposition will probably win other circuits that are even more chavistas. But this one is closest to the 84 mark.

    • The fact that *the*most*chavista* of the Caracas circus is still only half-way in chavistaness terms nationally only underlines what Omar was writing this morning: there’s a huge number of deep red circuits in Monteyculebralandia where we’ve never been competitive but will need to win to get a qualified majority.

      • Hmmm, I was arguing that this circuit is more chavista than many other circuit that could be won before it. In fact, your model says it couldn’t be won under any circumstances (though it may be time to change that).

  3. If a woman sees all other women as tramps its because she has the mind of a tramp and projects on others whats in her own nature , equally if for someone everybody absolutely everyone, even people one doesn’t know is corrupt then that’s probably because that person really has an inner inclination for being corrupt himself …….as the saying goes ´cada ladron juzga segun condicion’ .!!

    Of course the hidden message is clear , all oppos reps are corrupt , they are as corrupt as the people they oppose , so if they are both the same , let them to their game and withdraw from any opposition to the regime ………just what an infiltrated troll would say…….to favour its sconced patrons…!!

    • Ahh… I see I have another convert to my “LKY” is a “Chavista Troll” theory.

      Several months ago, a story broke in the international press about a Russian propaganda mill being run in Moscow. The following is representative:


      The article describes how Russia is paying hundreds of people to troll various blogs, newspaper commentary sections, and other social media in order to promote its version of the “truth” and influence public opinion. The existence of this propaganda mill is well documented with testimony from many people who worked there. The point being that the idea of paid trolls should not be considered a wild-eyed conspiracy theory.

      That Chavismo would neglect to utilize this form of weaponized propaganda is inconceivable. I have heard (nothing substantial that I could link to) that Chavismo operates its own propaganda mill out of Telesur’s offices in Quito.

  4. They must have spent 100 Bs on that candidate pic for Twitter. the pic begs the question: Given you have ruled the land for 16 years, what, specifically, are you smiling about per life in Venezuela right here, right now?

    And GO! Marialbert. She’s the future.

  5. Oh my beloved Circuit 1! I am from El Junquito, and my whole family still Iives there. Beautiful place but plagued by countless problems. I can attest to the falling of chavismo’s long standing popularity; as this section of the Capital District continues to struggle with a myriad of issues that range from scarcity, to safety, to water supply to collapsing roads. I went back in June of this year and spoke to several people who supported the regime in the past, but confessed now to be fed up by the overwhelming lack of response displayed by the local and regional authorities. The fact that this town is split between the Capital District and Vargas State gives it a sort of “limbo-esque” nature politically speaking, which doesn’t help its plead at all. Because of its removed location, the queues are particularly longer and the “arrechera” a bit more deeply seated.

  6. .84 Caracas´ C1
    .85 Zulia´s C12
    .86 Mérida´s C2

    and then 4 multideputies circuits:

    .87-88-89 Barinas´ C1
    .90-91-92 Monagas´ C1
    .93-94 Caracas´ C5
    .95-96-97 Carabobo´s C5

    and finaly to reach 100:

    .98 Caracas´ C1
    .99-100 Miranda´s C4 (Guarenas -Guatire part of the Great Caracas)

    more than half of the key deputies (15 deputies between 84 and 112) will come from a very small part of the country, the Central and the Capital, while Vargas counts for the deputies 104 and 105 and Caracas´ C2 counts for the deputie 109, from Carabobo´s C2 is the 101 and from Aragua´ C2 are the 110 and 111,

    those numbers come from a ranking made with data of the presidential election in 2013,


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here