Datanalisis’s latest poll is a mixture of the blindingly obvious and the utterly baffling.

On the obvious side, Venezuelans agree the country is in an awful state. In fact, 85% of respondents see the current situation as negative including 56% of people who self-identify as chavista. On the utterly baffling side, the negative outlook has dropped somewhat, from 90% in April. Sampling error? Are people thinking the protests improve our prospects? Hard to tell.

Amid all the chaos and hunger, you’d expect the bottom would have fallen out of Maduro’s popularity. You’re wrong. The mustachioed one still has an approval rating of 22%. Twenty two!

Some perspective: these are no Chávez numbers, but compared to CAP2, Caldera and his colleagues up and down the continent, he’s doing awesome. He’s in the same neighborhood with presidents whose countries haven’t become Mad Max-style dystopias (Chile’s Bachelet is polling at 26%, Uruguay’s Tabaré Vásquez is at 28%.) He’s more popular than México’s Enrique Peña Nieto and he’s at more than double the level of a properly loathed president: Brazil’s Michel Temer who sits at ten-freaking-percent. And that was in March.

The mustachioed one still has an approval rating of 22%. Twenty two!

Maduro’s popularity has its roots in beliefs at least in part. A May study, also from Datanalisis, shows how inflation is perceived among groups (chavista, oppo and neither-nors). Chavistas are more likely to think inflation won’t have an impact on their purchasing power, even though a large majority of Venezuelans feel like inflation far exceeds any pay increase.

The more recent study was designed to tell us what Venezuelans think about the National Constituent Assembly (ANC). Unsurprisingly, 69% oppose it, and 85% argue that what we need is to enforce the current Constitution (including a chavista majority here).

Finally, a sky-high  86% of Datanalisis respondents think a referendum is needed to call a Constituent Assembly. This isn’t a shocker and does make evident why Chavismo fears a referendum prior to the ANC as if it were the plague.

Venezuela is far from a 50-50 country. Right now there’s an absolutely overwhelming majority in favor of change. And yet it’s important to understand baffling though it may seem that Maduro retains significant support. It’s a minority. It’s less than a quarter of the country. But it’s not some kind of fringe position.

53 COMMENTS

  1. A little back of the envelope math.
    30 million people times 70% that is the adult population leaves 21 million, times 20% is a little over 4 million adults.
    The Center for Economic and Policy Research shows that Venezuela has 2.5 million public employees.
    if 2/3 of them are married, there is most of Maduro’s support.
    Taking into consideration that people that signed the recall petition when Chavez was in power, suffered retaliation, there may be a large portion of these people that will always give a positive answer to any question regarding the government out of fear of losing their jobs. The spouse may answer the same as the employee for the same reasons.
    These same public employees are summoned at short notice for Maduro’s staged rallies. Failure to attend can result in dismissal.
    They may be very leery to truthfully answer any questions.
    Removing public employees and children from the poll, Maduro’s support is probably closer to 5%.

  2. Just as there are people who are chronic drunkards even if drinking makes their life miserable , political passions that make you feel high and mighty , the vengeful heroic hater of a vilified foe also intoxicate your vanity so that no matter how much harm you suffer at the hands at those that represent those passions you are loath to abandon them ……., many people will always prize their glamorized hatreds more than their personal well being……..!!

    We are naive in thinking that what people desire most from govt is that it allow them a better life , what people often want from their rulers is that they intoxicate them with violent political passions and a distinct sense of social identity …….

    In the US insurance companies took a poll on which physicians were least likely to become the subjects of lawsuits , they discovered to their surprise that medics with the best recorded professional performance were more likely of being sued than medical practitioners who even if much less competent were attentive of their patients need for comforting words and gestures…….

    • Comentario acertado que complementa perfectamente lo dicho en esta entrada de blog. Usted lleva mucho tiempo por aquí pero no recuerdo haberle visto nunca en la zona de honor, un poco más arriba. Dicho con el debido respeto hacia quien lo deba recibir, espero que algún día le dejen pasar.

  3. There are none so blind as those that refuse to see.
    There are so few people that have not been negatively affected by the deterioration of the Venezuelan economic and social fabric, I find it hard to believe that Maduro’s approval rating can be anywhere near what the polls are saying.
    Brexit was never going to happen.
    Clinton was going to win.
    Theresa may was up 20 points in the polls and lost the Conservative majority in the UK parliament last week. Actually, one poll had her with a slim lead the other with a big lead.
    Polls have been wrong in the past and it is reasonable to question this poll’s accuracy.

    • John

      Unfortunately, you’d be surprised. I don’t know what his exact support but it’s not nil, and this poll conforms to others done in the last 6 months. is but there are some who are so brainwashed, so emotionally connected to the regime, and along with those there are some whose hatred of the opposition is so burning they feel that not liking Maduro would be helping the opposition.

      • Rory
        I know there is support, In just find it hard to believe that 1/5 of the population still supports Maduro and this regime.
        A mother of one of the people that I send supplies to is in her 80’s. She is a die hard Chavista. Most of what she eats is either sent by me or paid for with funds that I send. Everything from soap to shampoo to toothpaste and her medicines are coming from the US. Yet she doesn’t seem to hold the government responsible for any of the shortages and economic collapse.
        This woman’s brother is a former Venezuelan ambassador. He served before Chavez. She has heard reasoned and intelligent arguments against Chavismo, Chavez and Maduro. It is the definition of insanity that she blindly supports this regime.
        Her daughter has pretty much written off her support of Maduro as senility

        • Yes, there is several persons in the extended family who refuse to give up their attachment to the regime and are beyond all reasoning. the other day one said something in group chat like “don’t you talk about my president that way in front of me”. Meanwhile he’s seen his family suffer every day.

          very sad.

          • Heh, in those cases, I double on the truth-talking about his useless idol, firing rounds such as “your president makes you starve while his family is stuffed on dollars, your president wants you to be sunk in manure while he travelled everywhere he wanted…” and so on.

            When the chavista devolves in a name-calling hysterical screeching mess, you would have won the discussion.

    • Don’t forget that Dewey beat Truman in 1948. It is all a game. but so what if people get screwed. It is same everywhere.

  4. As I posted a few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend from bachillerato that joined the Guardia Nationalsozialistische. He was my friend and thought of him as a good person.

    When discussing the current situation of Venezuela we could find NO common ground. His perception of the current events were irreconcilable with mine. For example, hot headed kids throwing stones he would call terrorists. Running over protesters with an armored vehicle, he would see as proportional self defense. I then argued about the dirty tactics for suspending elections and he explained, verbatim the hog wash explanation given by the government for their suspension in a condescending manner.

    The people that support Maduro see a totally different and parallel reality to most people. In many ways its like talking to a person in a psychotic state. There is no possibility of agreement.

    Moreover, the darker side of the conversation is that he threatened more and unflinching violence because Chavismo will never concede.

    • In short, your former friend is an hypocritical opportunist asshole, who’s gladly willing to murder as much people as possible just to defend hjis little privileged position, and who doesn’t know a thing about true street violence, as he thinks that protesters will meekly accept the “growing violence” chavismo will use to keep them quiet.

      • I think my conversation sheds light on the impending civil war for Venezuela. I am purposely using the term civil war.

        I observe that the military is fracturing and polarizing (generals making public resignations and speaking their minds). The Chavista military will not concede, so if and when and anti-chavista faction emerges they will have to shoot it out. The civil war may be but one battle, but a full war it will be.

        I think this explains the hesitancy of the military do do anything so far. For them it is easy to attack escaulidos, they are the other, but a shooting war within the military tribe is far harder. They will have to fight people they know and probably like.

        • “They will have to fight people they know and probably like.”

          It’s more that they will fight people they know that will FIGHT BACK.

          THAT is the whole point of the chavista enforcers, they do everything they do, because they know no consequences will befall them, and that’s the reason the regime lash with such virulent war propaganda to make every single person who dares to defend his life as a child-molester-baby-eating-faceless monster that deserves to be killed with extreme prejudice.

          Most of those sociopaths are hated even in their own family circles, they are only tolerated for the cash they bring, otherwise they would have been shunned even by their closest relatives.

          • That depends…if the sociopath is the patriarch then the dynamics could see most of not entire family brainwashed. This is a very interesting and little understood subject

    • This is mind control (manipulation) akin to Scientology or any other cult and the pathology is narcissism/sociopathy/psychopathy. Your GNB acquaintance is brainwashed and a victim but very complicit too. You will note that the lower rungs are not that bright.

  5. Most of the customers that visit my workplace thing I’m a hardcore chavista-madurista strawman who staunchly believes in economic war and that the guarimberos must be eradicated with extreme prejudice.

    It’s a pretty good way to get the sundde f***tards out of my back.

  6. Never overestimate the intelligence of “el pueblo”.
    Real chavista numbers are much higher. Change the name Maduro for MG Chavez or others and they can probably win an election. People are mad at Maduro, not at the “revolution”.

  7. As levels of collective insanity in a country go, 22 percent looks pretty good to me these days. The fever has broken.

  8. One thought to ponder, some people are tired of the guarimbas and violent protests as well. We all want a return to normal life, but nothing will be normal till these guys go…

    I know one person who runs an after school daycare that happens to be in “guarimba centro”. She has lost most all of her clients because parents are not sending their kids to school because it is a total hassle when there are guarimbas and protests can break out at any moment.

    Yes, we have to keep up pressure on the Chavistas. However it does come at a cost. The guarimbas are chemotherapy in that they kill the good cells along with the bad and can sometimes kill the host before they kill the cancer. They have a time and a place, but not all the time and not always in the same place. Then you hit the law of diminishing returns.

    This is something to keep in mind and can explain for some of the statistics.

    I think John explains the vast majority of the pro-Maduro camp.

    • If you back off the street pressure, this country is done.

      Yes, there will be many inconveniences, but the alternative is resigning yourself to a lifetime of misery and deprivation.

      I mean come on, you think these people will turn over their power if they are just asked nicely?

      • Bill, you think they will just turn over power because of guarimberos? I have news for you, they are not going anywhere. Sorry to burst your bubble. Talk to me about weapons and firepower.

        • I don’t know if you live in Venezuela, but either way, I can assure you this regime is unsustainable. It is not a question of if they will fall, but when.

          That’s not to say who or what will replace Maduro. Short term we could be looking at something worse, i.e. Padrino, Reverol, or Diosdado. They may try to sacrifice Maduro to save the Narcoestado. But change is coming.

          The key is the opposition has to stay cohesive and active, i.e. the street. If not, we are done for one way or the other.

          Yes, they have the weapons and firepower for now. The other side of the coin is it is basically no more than maybe 30,000 on one side with full commitment to the revolution versus 25 million against. Short of mass slaughter, violence will only buy them a little time.

    • Guacharaca,

      A very strange phenomenon. They seem to mind the violence of the protests but they do not seem to care much about the dozens and dozens of homicides occurring in their communities everyday. Opening this newspaper from Bolivar State gives an idea of the level of violence in every city in the country:

      http://www.nuevaprensa.com.ve/sucesos

  9. In agreement with the first comment (John). In a system where your political sympathies are recorded in “lists” to prevent you from enjoying “benefits”, most polled would be suspicious and obviously, conceal their true feelings.
    It is madness, beyond bizarre, to even think that Maduro has an approval close to 20%. Who are you kidding LVL? This is fake news, disinformation. If Datanalisis’ sampling only included the public sector, Maduro might even have close to 100% approval rating. My proposal to Luis: Why don’t you conduct this poll only with Govt. workers? Easy, just go to the ministries (or if you have already done it, release the results…).
    Didn’t Saddam win his approval referendum for another term in 2002 by 100%? (of course, in Saddam’s Irak there was no fear whatsoever).
    The regime does not have many alternatives. Defections are mounting. Yesterdays comments by the Nonebudsman suggest that he is looking for an out himself. Increasingly, the repression is carrying heavier and heavier risks. Clock is ticking…

  10. I think some of the remaining support could be explained by the state’s media / communicational hegemony, i.e. propaganda system. That and the gov. employees (bloated burocracia) as mentioned above.

  11. Never forget the constitution:
    Title 1;
    Articles 3 and 5.
    Title 3;
    Articles 25, 31 and 68.
    Keep going you beloved people.

  12. DA’s pres./owner (+LL) told my august group of high-level execs 2 months before Chavez won handily his first presidential election end-1990’s-“No chance Chavez can win,” he scoffed (I was literally the only one in the room of 60 predicting a Chavez win). DA is hedging their political bets with these results. Also, what John says above. Finally, I can word a questionnaire and choose a sampled group to give Maduro a majority favorable opinion, if necessary….

  13. I would think the Clapp bags and free goods keep people loyal. Same for the Milatary who are living well of stolen goods, bribery or whatever means. If free things run out, this will fall apart very rapidly

  14. Massive corruption everywhere at all levels from the obreros to the managers, not just the “Chavistas”

    Face it: Kleptozuela is made of Millions of corrupt thieves and/or narco thieves.

    Many of them deserve what they are getting, from the perrocalientero enchufado, till the “alcalde” enchufado. They are simply THIEVES, at mass levels, by the Millions.

    No rules, no laws no punishment total impunity that’s what happens in the 3rd world.

    Kleptozuela s just one of the worst examples of THIEVERY and lack of education. Chavismo is terrible , sure, but average Venezuelans are to blame too. Thieves most of them. By the millions.. enchufados, drogadictos, palanqueados, corrupt, you name it.

    That’s why things won’t get much better when the muddy “MUD” takes over.

    That country s DOOMED until a “mano dura” from the right takes over. Just watch.

  15. If the average IQ in Venezuela is 84 , then at least 20 odd percent of the population are Morons ………., if anyone still believes in all the flagrant lies this regime doles out then they are not intellectually very brilliant , that might explain at least part of the 22% of people who still claim to support Maduro.

    As Lincoln once said , you can fool all of the people part of the time , some of the people all of the time but never all of the people all of the time ……..!!

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