September 21, 2008

Gustavo MarWHO?!

Quico says: State-level polls are likely to be thin on the ground over the next few weeks, and published polls even thinner. So I'll jump on whatever I can get, even if I can't really vouch for the identity of the pollster (caveat lector).

Since beggars can't be choosers, here're the results of an Anzoátegui state poll conducted Sept. 5th through the 10th (sample size = 1000).

The headline figure? Chavista governor Tarek William Saab is ahead of the Primero Justicia Mayor of Lecherías, Gustavo Marcano, by 31% to 22%.

The punchline? A staggering 38% are undecided on the open question.

Meanwhile, 6% want to vote for El Conde del Guacharo Benjamin Rausseo - is he really running?

In the closed question, with just Tarek and Marcano's names given as options, Tarek is ahead 46% to 43%.

The real problem is that just 31% of Anzoategui voters polled were able to identify Marcano as the oppo unity candidate. 65% answered that they "don't know" who the unity candidate is. This is discouraging, but not surprising: the oppo unity guy was supposed to be the dinosaurish Antonio Barreto Sira, who ended up getting disqualified by the Comptroller General. Marcano is Plan B man: he has to run twice as hard.

You could call that a glass-half-full (it's never good for an incumbent if he can't reach 50%) or a glass-half-empty (less than three months out, the oppo candidate is still an unknown). Either way, it's clear Marcano has a lot of work to do on name recognition... but will he have the resources and the access to the airwaves it takes to catch up?

Note: The poll is conducted by a firm called Varianzas that I'd never ever heard of before, and published by Globo, so do douse liberally with salt before consumption. A quick Google search shows that these guys have been around - all low-profile like - for a few years, and apparently did the field work for Evans/McDonough back in 2004 - so it's not a total fly-by-night operation.