Tipping Point for 2/3rds: Miranda 5

The circuit most likely to bring us our 112th deputy is super-red Barlovento. Only a cataclysmic nationwide PSUV meltdown would put a place like this into play.


The consensus view now is that a 2/3rd supermajority is the opposition’s Beautiful, Impossible Dream. The 112th deputy would give the opposition the nuclear option: the right to call a Constituent Assembly with unlimited powers to do, well, pretty much anything it dreams up. It would massively reshuffle the negotiating power between the government and the opposition, and some worry it could lead to an all-out chavista freakout.

I agree none of this looks particularly likely, because in order to win a 2/3rd supermajority the opposition would probably have to win

Miranda 5

a.k.a., Tierra Ardiente del PSUV

Tipping Point Circuit Maps.007

Where the hell is that? Barlovento.

Municipios: Brion, Acevedo, Buroz, Andres Bello, Paez, Pedro Gual

Barlovento is a rural, heavily afro-Venezuelan area, but redder than it is black. Even though Primero Justicia has run the Miranda state government for years – on the back of votes in the more urban areas in Miranda – we just have never been competitive in Barlovento.

It’s not for lack of trying: God knows Governor Henrique Capriles is obsessed with this area, has campaigned hard there, has a ground game with activists working flat out. Nothing seems to matter. In the December 2012 regional elections, while Capriles won Miranda 51-47, he lost Acevedo Municipality (Caucagua) to Elías Jaua 65-35. He lost Buroz (Mamporal) 68-32, Paez (Rio Chico) 62-38, Andres Bello (San Jose de Barlovento) 65-35. Pedro Gual (Machurucuto) is where he did best, and still lost 60-40.

So obviously if a guy like Henrique Capriles can’t come closer than 20 points behind anywhere in the circuit with a campaign on the ground, this really is a tough nut to crack.

MUD is running a guy named Ramón Martínez (who is not the other Ramón Martínez, the old cacique from Sucre State.)

He comes from Primero Justicia, seems to be from the cantera of the party. He’s been working for Capriles’s Miranda State Government for the last six years: pretty much his whole working life, as he’s pretty young, just 30 years old. Martínez born in Caucagua and with classic barloventeño looks. Somebody on his FB joked that he looks like Chris Rock (deffo!) He wants investment in education and sports as a big priority. 

Ramón on the right.
Ramón on the right.

He had a stint as a student leader at UNEXPO, in Barquisimeto, where he graduated as an Industrial Engineer. He has spoken frankly about an issue that’s particularly algid on his cicuit: ‘Peace zones’ and their culture of impunity and chaos, saying “the so-called peace zone have turned into impunity zones, and the Operation to Liberate the People has been just for show. 

He has an awful lot of pics campaigning with Capriles, which shows where his loyalties lie.

Meanwhile PSUV is running Nora Delgado.

 She seems to be a benchmark enchufada/recién vestida, with high positions in govt cash cows (Hidrocapital and PDVSA Industrial). I dunno how much cash will she have available to buy votes, but it’s definitely not going to hurt her.

She seems unable to say a word outside the same old script. Sadly, she’s probably going to the Assembly. It will be a very good night for us – and the country – if she doesn’t.




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  1. While I agree with most of the article, this part:

    “and by far the reddest part of Miranda”

    is simply not true. If we are talking about the regions of Miranda properly, Los Valles del Tuy is the reddest. In 2012, Chávez got 70.6% in el Tuy, and 66% in Barlovento. In 2013, Maduro got 67% against Capriles in el Tuy, whereas in Barlovento he got 63%.

    If we’re talking about the circuits, the 5th isn’t the reddest, it’s the 7th and the 6th. In order of “chavistaness” (love that word) it goes like this: 7>6>5>4>1>3>2

    But yeah, we’ll need this district if we want the 2/3rds majority. And I doubt we can win it.

  2. Have you seen any polls with regional numbers? It’s hard to predict by looking at trends across national and regional elections, but perhaps that could help.
    Acevedo: for Chavez 69% in 2012, for Maduro 67% in 2013 and the PSUV mayor got somewhere around 47%. I don’t know but that might indicate something.

    • You forgot to mention that the alternate chavista candidate for Mayor got 22%, whereas MUD’s got 28,6%. It will be interesting to see how much of that dissident chavismo grew up in two years, and how much of it will turn to vote for the MUD or not show up to vote at all tomorrow.

  3. Love that guy. Win or lose, I hope he keeps climbing the political rungs. It would be something to have him as mayor some day.

    Capriles… That guy got the memo.

  4. Quico, there is something that doesn’t make sense to me. If you use the 2010 tool that you created, and you give the oppo 60% of the vote, the opposition easily gets 2/3rds of the seats… I understand that there have been some changes from 2010 to now, but those changes are not dramatic now, are they? Not like the changes they made pre-2010…

    I do think that the 2010 tool is the best predictive tool in terms of distribution of the vote based on the ballot question as this was demonstrated after the election… (I know it’s only one sample, but whatever)


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