Abstention Seems To Be The Story So Far In Venezuela’s Gubernatorial Elections

December 16, 2012

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So I went this morning to take pictures of voting centers and the best I could come up with was a lousy picture of my ink-stained finger. Essentially, there are few lines for voting, I could not find a single center with a line outside to take a picture of. This election is different, a large fraction of Caracas simply does not vote, so I could not take my usual tour of the more pro-Chavez Western part of Caracas, they choose no Governor, and instead had to go East, to Petare, where the lines seemed to be for shopping, rather than for voting.

And the few data points I have from around the country suggests that it is the same all over. In two very pro-Chavista parishes in a Southeastern state of Venezuela, where Chavez won in October by 38% and abstention was 20.3% and 17.2% respectively, abstention at 10 AM was simply huge. In one center, which has about 270 voters, not one person had voted after the polls had been opened almost an hour.

Once again, in elections without Chavez, even Chavistas don’t seem to care much. He is definitely the electoral phenomenon.

What this means is that we are in uncharted territory. Low abstention, like in October, was good for Chavismo. Abstention between 25% and 35%, favors the opposition, but above that level, where we seem to be at this point of the day, is no mans land. More likely even a poor Chavista machinery will be enough to win in many states, but this is likely not be uniform across the country.  This may be good for the States where the opposition has Governors in danger of losing, like Carabobo and Nueva Esparta, but reduces the likelihood of a surprise by the opposition in States like Aragua and Anzoategui. Maybe we get an almost repeat of 2008.

I will update throughout the day, if there is something to upgrade about, I hope there is.

7 Responses to “Abstention Seems To Be The Story So Far In Venezuela’s Gubernatorial Elections”

  1. ErneX Says:

    If Jaua wins the little hope I had for the country vanishes. And it will be 100% deserved if we agree that Capriles should not ran.


  2. Miranda is unclear, the two machineries will match each other. If the students go and and vote in the afternoon as planned, Capriles will win.

  3. HalfEmpty Says:

    Don’t fred ErneX….. think of Richard Nixon and the California Governors race in 1962, losing was the best thing that ever happened to him, allowing hell on earth to break out while he was in his wilderness.

    (Yes I’ma Tricky Dick Fan, but that ain’t the point)

  4. GotaDeAcido Says:

    Eating your fingernails out of tension also? (look at the picture). shiiz, my voting center was also empty. People went in and out constantly, but no lines.

  5. A. Shaw Says:

    Some voters see an identity between revolutionary and reactionary candidates for state office — that is, they’re all corrupt, incompetent, and indifferent. So, there’s little motive to vote for one over the other, given the apparent similarity. What seems to make a difference in these situations is the size and intensity of GOTV operations.

    Doc Jorge goes all out for GOTV.

    NED sent its top GOTV people — they’re real good — to Venezuela to tell its goveling quislings there what to do.

    Hence, its not so much a matter of abstention as it is a matter of the management of a paltry turnout. A campaign can win or lose either low or high turnouts if it knows how to play both.

    We’ll see.

  6. m_astera Says:

    If you vote for them that gives them legitimacy. If you don’t vote they are not legitimate. Catch what I’m talking about? People are sick and tired of government criminals, period. Tell us why we need a government?

  7. A. Shaw Says:

    How will the bourgeois media tell us that the Dec.16 results are a big win for the oppo [bourgeois-led opposition] and big loss for the revo [revolution]?

    That will require a lot of imagination on the part of the bourgeois media.

    Oppo got its golden boy Capriles reelected. That’s not good for the revo. Because other oppos lost, Capriles is now stronger in and out of the oppo.
    Given the number of abstensionists in Miranda, Jaua should have won. But he believes in the power of BS over GOTV. Doc had less influence in Miranda than any other state.

    Now, it’s on to Jan. 10.


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