Following on from our list of most likely Tipping Points for the simple majority, we turn to the 3/5th majority. Because three seats have been added to the assembly, this is no longer the once famous Diputado 99. Now it’s the Diputado 101.

On the basis of an ordinal ranking of circuits from least to most chavista, the circuit most likely to bring the opposition our 101st deputy and with it the 3/5ths supermajority is:

Zulia 4

a.k.a., The Maracucho Zurda Konducta Crucible

Tipping Point Circuit Maps.004

Where the hell is that? Oeste de Maracaibo

Parroquias Venancio Pulgar, Idelfonso Vásquez, Antonio Borjas Romero

The North-West chunk of Maracaibo is a deeply impoverished, hardscrabble area of seriously violent slums.

You should be picturing this:



Rather than this:



The West been one of the city’s most reliably chavista areas for a long time, and making inroads there is not going to be easy. That we’re even talking of the west of Maracaibo as a place where the opposition could conceivably win goes to show how unfavorable the opinion climate has become for chavismo: this really shouldn’t be a competitive race. But it is.

Best yet, it pits two aspiring young politicos that couldn’t be any farther from one another in terms of style if they tried.

MUD is running Un Nuevo Tiempo’s Elimar Díaz. She graduated in political science from the Universidad Rafael Urdaneta in Maracaibo that has worked with Un Nuevo Tiempo since 2006, when she joined the ranks of the party’s youth wing. She was president of the political science student council and eventually president of UNT’s youth wing. Díaz works closely with current mayor Eveling Trejo, and she’s now in charge of Maracaibo’s Autonomous Institute for the Plaza de Torosa major maracucho events venture.

Diaz is knee deep in municipal politics, and knows local issues inside and out. Her campaign has focused on local issues like the lack of running water and paved roads. She talks national issues that impact the local area too, though: the alleged embezzlement of funds earmarked for projects in her circuit; the homeownership titles to Misión Vivienda housing; and crime. She comes across as a smart, tough, serious young woman with hints of a cuaima streak.



Her jingle is kind of catch: 

What makes the race really fun, though, is the competition: the incomparable, indescribable Fidel Madroñero, a.k.a., the most entertaining of all the 6D candidates, period.

Madroñero is a rara avis, a kind of marijuanero intenso izquierdoso with a bizarre Cuban/Chilean/Maracucho mongrol accent and hair that just defies categorization.  

He made his name on Zurda Konducta, the insufferable commie-hipster youth show on State TV.

Madroñero was born to be on Zurda Konducta…you can see here his idea of quality journalism:


Amusingly, Elimar Diaz had a bit of a face-to-face meeting with Madroñero. He asks her what she thinks about opposition politicians who like to wear fancy foreign brands. Her demolition of his posturing is…must see tv:

GOD that was satisfying.

Elimar Diaz is a hometown girl made good: as maracucha as maracuchas come, rooted deep in the politics of her home town. Madroñero is…a citizen of the planet, though we can’t confirm which planet that is, exactly.

This is deep red territory.

Chavismo should never have been in trouble here.

Could Elimar Diaz make off with Zulia 4? Tune back in on Sunday night for the answer.

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  1. There’s quite a few things that are very appealing about Elimar in the interview. For starters her commitment to state, neutral institutions rather than partisan ad-hoc goodie bags. Also, I think she has more clarity than I’ve seen in other candidates of what a member of the National Assembly can do for their circuit in the national government. A diputado does not go out and build schools or pave roads, but they (ideally) hold the government to account on the projects and its proposals. Of course this is practically meaningless in the current situation but it’s nice hearing a candidate who gets what their role *should* be as a member of the national legislative.

    Also, they like vallenato in Maracaibo? I had no idea. But well, you can say her campaign tune is now part of humanity’s cultural heritage: But I mean, the pictures of Maracaibo look very, very much like Cartagena or Barranquilla (both the nice condos and the slums), it’s such a shame we don’t have more integration between the border departments and states.

  2. So i guess Madronero is winning the circuit easily, since you didn’t post the last poll numbers like you did in the previous articles.

    • Latest polls suggest Elimar Diaz is winning the district by close to ten points. However, she has definitely come back. Three months ago, Madronero was winning the district by 15 points. In 2010, Opposition’s William Barrientos (UNT, now running for Zulia’s 8th district) won the district by three points due to a great mobilization run by UNT and former governor Pablo Perez. Yet, MUD hasn’t won the district ever since.

  3. Francisco (or other experts), I don’t quite get where you get your tipping point circuits from.

    If you go into the Forecasting app and input, say, 10% of “percepcion positiva” you get that for circuito 4 Madronero should win. Under this scenario the opposition has 111 deputies. So, how is it exactly that circuito 4 is close to the tipping point?

    Also, I cannot imagine the kind of circuits we have to win to get 2/3. This is probably winning in Portuguesa/Delta Amacuro/Vargas.

    • They’re just slightly different methodologies. This is based on a simple ordinal ranking of circuits’ chavistaness based on a naive average of PSUV vote-shares since 2010. The point isn’t that there’s something magical about this or that circuit, but to give you a sense of the kinds of places and races we need to be competitive in to reach a certain threshold.

  4. I agree with this. This circuit is probably the tipping point for the 3/5th majority. And you know what’s funny? In 2010, when we didn’t stand a chance of getting that majority, we still won this seat by 3 points. UNT really knocked it out of the park that year:

    I just goes to show how deeply red this circuit has become, since we haven’t even come close to winning here since then. This should be one of the most watched races for this election. It’s going to be close. And with a little luck, Mr. Madroñero might not be a deputy next year.

    And Lee Kuan Yew, dude, just shut up if you aren’t going to say anything useful.

    PD: Toro, I have a minor problem with the site. I typed this comment and it after I clicked “Post Comment” it said I was posting comments too quickly (which is weird, considering I haven’t posted anything else today) and forcing me to write my comment again (ugh). Any idea why that might be?

  5. I know it shouldn’t matter, but I couldn’t help noticing that, ella es muy blanca, y el es muy criollo. If being a criollo clown worked for El Commandante Eterno, I fear that image – rather than substance – will be enough to again have this district vote rojo rojito de nuevo. More’s the pity…..

    • Racismo en Venezuela? That’s crazy they said.

      There’s too few of us white people for that, they said.

      Nobody thinks like that outside the 1st world, they said.

      This thing is real.

  6. I friend asked me who was Fidel Drogoñero y le mande mi respuesta:

    El es el hijo de Trino Mora con Paul Gilman cuando usaron el vientre de alquiler del Chacal de la Trompeta luego que se descubrió que no era un hombre sino una mujer sin tetas. Luego no sé supo de quién era hijo porque por ese tiempo Don Francisco le estaba echando los perros al Chacal y todo terminó en confusion y engaño. Al final se supo que Fidel podría ser el hijo de Golum (LOR-Precious) porque se parecen mucho y entonces eso explica porque tiene que cargar 12 guarda-espaldas pero obviamente deja incierto el origen de ese mutante.

  7. the last poll from Ivad, the one where the govt made most gannings (around 10 pts) showed that in the western including Zulia, the growth of the opp is around 30-35% against the govt and based on the last results in 2013, it will mean that the difference between both are really close, 51-49 to the opp if we take 35%,

  8. Amusingly, Elimar Diaz had a bit of a face-to-face meeting with Madroñero. He asks her what she thinks about opposition politicians who like to wear fancy foreign brands. Her demolition of his posturing is…must see tv:

    You don’t have to understand Maracucho- a language I am way out of practice on- to understand this video. A picture is worth a thousand words! Which reminds me of the now classic Pedro Carreño y su corbata Imperialista.


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