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
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.