November 20, 2008

23N Map: Caracas Chronicles Forecast

Juan Cristobal and Quico say: So after some debate, we have decided to go out on a limb and publish a Forecast Map for Sunday's gubernatorial elections. We think it'll go like this:

This is basically Juan's post, with Bolívar shifted over to the Solid Chavista column and Mérida downgraded to "Lean" from Solid Chavista. On second thought, we can't see how a divided opposition can possibly take Bolívar, and we have to accept that even if William Dávila is a tool, Mérida has been trending blue in recent votes and the opposition could conceivably pull it off there.

We also decided that in a context where Chávez has spent considerable time and effort attacking the hell out of "dissident chavistas", it doesn't make sense to think of Lenny Manuitt in Guárico or of Julio César Reyes in Barinas as anything other than opposition. So we're making them blue rather than green.

We're real unsure about Portuguesa, where we have neither polling nor inside info to go on. A couple of months ago Datanalisis thought the PPT candidate was competitive there, but we can't really believe chavismo can lose a state like that. Falcón is another place where we wished we had more local knowledge to go on, as was Aragua. But on the basis of what we know now, the former looks like a chavista lock and the latter like an imaginable oppo upset.

Turnout will be a key factor everywhere, but nowhere more so than in the race for Mayor-at-Large of Caracas (how how how to translate Alcalde Mayor?!) We're saying it is lean chavista, but again, if Ocariz wins big in Sucre and the oppo heartland of Chacao, Baruta and El Hatillo turn out in numbers, anything could happen. We'll post on that in detail later.

Overall, the opposition is almost sure to win 4 states, likely to win 9, but could go as high as 13 if the stars line up just right for us. The government is a sure thing in 9 states and likely to win 12 (+ Greater Caracas) in all, but could imaginably win 18 if our people don't turn out.

That's our story and we're sticking by it!