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.