Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The 2012 Prez results: Crystal ball gazers' Waterloo

Certainly before I write anything analytic on Sunday's numbers I need to make my mea culpa if I want to rescue any shred of credibility I may have left.

Yes, I blew it on my predictions, even if some parts can be rescued. But the good news, or at least, the news that comfort me somewhat is that all pollsters blew it also, even if some say GIS XXI got it, which in my opinion was a lucky guess by Jesse Chacon. The pollster historical result is that all of them have blown it at least once big time since 2006. Sunday it was Consultores 21 and even Varianzas with its idiotic exit poll on Sunday night. Datanalisis is trying to claim that they did not do so bad but they conveniently forget that they gave Lara and Miranda to Capriles by more than 10 points each when in the end he lost both of them, even his home state....  Conclusion: I have no more egg to wipe out of my face than they did, and at least I have no client complaining at the door.

Still, I have to wipe that egg....

My first assessment that Capriles was going to win was on August 24. I was giving him less than 6 million then and I stressed that abstention was going to be the key for a victory on Capriles as abstention favored him while high participation favored Chavez. At that time I was considering an abstention of at least 25%, going to 30%. There is no point in discussing abstention decrease, I said it all in my election night post.

I suppose that I should have let it all there, but noooo....  I had to dig my hole deeper. I went on to establish that there were three key states to watch, that a defeat there of Chavez meant a sure victory for Capriles  Well, at least I got that part right, by winning in Lara, Anzoategui and Bolivar Chavez won by a good margin overall. Some consolation my friends....

Still, as a small atonement, I insisted on the abstention importance (September 4, giving Capriles 6 million for the first time) and toward the end (October 3) I did write a piece where I said that Capriles deserved to win but that there was still a way for Chavez to hold on. At least, in my subconscious I never forgot that Chavez had a bigger chance to prevail than expected. Again, some consolation.....

So there you have it, my mea culpa. I could go on with a few more "attenuating circumstances" but they would start sounding like excuses. I just hope that with the above, I will at least obtain some indulgence from the readers, hoping that they understand that my optimism was not extreme and that even in my final prediction I gave Capriles with 7.3 million with an abstention of 25% (he got 6.5 with an abstention of 19%).

Still, this gives readers the right to decide whether I should proceed to analyze the elections results as I do usually. My track record is: barely a pass in 2006, good enough in 2008, scores big in 2010, blows it in 2012. You be the sole judge and leave in the comment section whether you think I should proceed or write on something else.  I mean it, if I do not get at least 50 encouraging comments I will not dare to analyze last Sunday results.

57 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:34 PM

    You should continue!

    And please also post on the mini-cne excercise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not think it is worth a post. Half of the people never reported or reported after the CNE did... However from the preliminary reports I was already seeing that abstention was too high for comfort and that Chavez was doing better than in 2010. Need more? :(

      At least it made me doubt very much exit polls and by 8 PM I had already made my peace with losing.

      Delete
  2. Yes, please someone have to make sence of the numbers...

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  3. Ishkatar2:57 PM

    Please analyze the results... your comments are always very accurate and really worth the read... the other question is what to expect on the December elections (if there are any)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cannot dare predicting anything if I do not have the trust of the readers :)

      Call it backmail for them to post a comment here, if you please

      Delete
  4. I would appreciate the analysis...

    And thanks for all your time and effort over the past years. It somehow makes it easier when I am far away from Venezuela just to have somewhere to come and read about what is happening and try to make sense of things. Even if you do no more you have already done a lot for this Venezolano "cara blanca" who sometimes wishes that he could turn back the clock and be back in Venezuela as a child .... comiendo arepa con carne mechada y papellon criollo!

    Thanks

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  5. Federico3:24 PM

    I would say the analysis is very worthwhile but there's one important thing you have to add -- what has happened in terms of economic growth. Economic growth (or something that will proxy it) will give you a trendline which you can then adjust up or down depending on what you see happening in each locality. Or you can even adjust it up or down for how widespread you think economic growth really is. Point is, a big part of the elections is determined by non-economic factors (which you probably have an edge at analyzing) but plain old economic growth almost always has an effect as well. But don't believe me, take the results of each election over the last 14 years and plot those vs the yoy growth in private consumption.

    Federico

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    Replies
    1. Federico

      Long ago I write on economy but Miguel, to name one page, does a much better job. I only write on economic matters when it is on my direct area, agribusiness.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous3:25 PM

    You are giving me this choice: Should I encourage you to keep on writing or should I find and alternative use of my time to cover your absence.

    First let me tell you to stop trying to find an easy way out of VN&V. There is none. We won't let you (I still do not know how exactly) and I am not sure you will enjoy it – you do have the virus. You are adding value in here for a lot of people (can you see the veiled thank you reaching out to the future?)

    Now I come back to the choice thing: It is rather easy for me to realise that it would take too much energy to consider substituting your delightful prose and analysis; thus, I reach to the other option to beg you continue. You knew what you were doing, and we knew the risks in the analysis. I do not feel you writings were off... it's just that predicting is quite difficult, especially when it is about the future. Chavez have been quite resourceful from a political standpoint, and I kept asking myself what could they do that is going to caught us off-guard. Well, it seems they found a way to move people!

    Now, I do apologise that I could not fulfil my promise of keeping you informed on election day. The amount of people was huge and too many things cooking at the same time... particularly the now famous trasnochado pseudo-legal CNE Circular No.2, which deserves an article on its own (that’s the one which converted our overseas votes into second rate votes that NEED to be delayed, with a humongous cost to the witness team and the voters who expect to witness the counting as well. This is the reason why our London consulate (I heard Vigo as well) needed to call the police to contain voters demanding their votes to get counted.
    DomingoL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Domingo

      Don't you hate it when bloggers extort you?

      This being said, do I smell a guest post?

      Delete
    2. yes, the guest poll smell reaches me, as well.

      Delete
  7. An apology was not necessary. Nobody has a crystal ball and even the most educated guess will fail in the silly game of predictions. Although I found you sometimes rather castic and even a bit reactionary at times, I really like your blog.
    Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  8. clobber3:46 PM

    Definitely need an analysis. Pollsters are never right 100% of the time, some are never right 5% of the time. Your ranking must be fairly good. Don't worry about it, just get to work on the analysis please! I am still in a totally depressed mood wondering wether to stay in Venezuela. I need to know why. How did he get more of his voters out this time around when we (the opposition) were thinking his aura was dimming. Was it just a question of who was giving out the most money and goodies?

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  9. andrea3:53 PM

    Daniel - please go ahead! Your insights are always worth the reading. What happeened on Sunday was incredible and a big shame for venezuelan citizens...they will pay dearly this mistake in the near future...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Daniel,

    So what...you blew it. But did you really? You were working with the info that you had and the visual and emotional feeling that all of Venezuela was feeling. I thought that your predictions were right. You have always been a great source for anyone wanting real info on Venezuelan affairs. Please do not stop!!!!! You have been and continue to be the first page i read in the morning for a very long time. The most successful people of any field have stumbled many times my friend.....that's what makes them so successful. We all need to get egg on our face every now and then...all part of getting better at whatever it is we do. Having said that.......YES PLEASE DO THE ANALYSIS!!!!!!

    Thanks for all you do!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous4:05 PM

    Just stop the self-loathing. I dare say your credibility has not suffered one bit.
    Mike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't help it. As a scientist when a theory is proven wrong I think I am an idiot.

      Delete
  12. Daniel:
    If you were infallible you would not be writing blogs! As a regular reader I encourage you to go on if not for you, to coalesce in your site the enlightened discourse of the sane and sensible, the educated and discerning, the analytical and the scientist, the ones that understand the need for diversity as the source of ideas and the basis for democracy. So you were wrong, I for one, enjoyed your analysis and learned from the discussions.
    In a way, an imporant way, we need you and the other bloggers out there more than ever. How else can we survive the next six years?
    regards,
    Rafael

    ReplyDelete
  13. Please do the election analysis. I desperately desire too see your evaluation of what happened. I am not an elections expert, particularly in Venezuela. But I have lived here for 14 years in an interior (los llanos) state. I follow elections closely and was even more involved this time. I felt your analysis was a more intelligent appraisal but also a confirmation of my thought that Capriles would win. In reality I thought your estimate was too conservative. All that to say you have nothing to be ashamed of. You gave a good analysis that was better than many others. I know we lost because of chavismo turnout. What I can't understand is how they got the turnout! I can accept that I was hopeful but wrong about Bolivar, Monagas, etc. I sill cannot comprehend losing Zulia by 7, losing Carabobo, basically tying in Miranda and losing N. Esparta. I definitely look forward to your analysis.

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  14. Daniel Regarding Venezuela politics you are very gifted with your analysis. Regarding the US. not so much. So please continue with your insights into the Venezuelan scene.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The Laughing Man4:24 PM

    I would be interested in observing your analysis...by all means, please continue.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous4:25 PM

    Hello Daniel!, I would really like to read your analysis and also I want to know what happen with the “mini-CNE”, did it predict the outcome?

    Saludos,

    MB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IT does not deserve a post per se. Part of the result was already included in the election day post. I will try to include more in some other post if the theme allows for it.

      Delete
  17. Do you know why your results were not as the outcome?

    I hope you find it worthwhile in your future, to continue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I made it clear in the post above. Is there a part you did not understand?

      Delete
  18. Anonymous4:39 PM

    I was one that did not deliver all info I promised for the mini-cne, my employee in catia was so afraid of even turning on her cellphone because of local chavista pressure, I´m sure she was promising us to vote oppo but surrended finally to the big red eye! sad...

    Also, I think your detailed election analysis from the past 6 years have no comparisson! pre, during and post E-day posts have been my "homepage"!, I have celebrated and cried many times with this mustard wallpaper of yours! do not dare to abandon ship!

    we all feel weird now, but remember; there are 2 more million in the opposition now, maybe, maybe, you have something to do with that.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I cannot imagine a day without checking into your blog to see if you have written, even when traveling outside of Venezuela. For as long as you have had this blog (and even before I knew what a blog was) I have depended on you, as well as Miguel, as an aide to help me grasp the situation here, to ground me in the day-to-day drama of living in Venezuela in these times and to help anchor me a bit. I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to have access to your writings. Thank you Daniel. Thank you for sharing your brilliance, your intellect, your analysis, humor, vulnerability, emotions, anger, passion, and little glimpses into your private world. And you are quite splendid and lightening quick when you get sassy and sarcastic. Here, here for when you deem it time to take a break or a detour. You deserve it! Your soul deserves it! Enjoy and cherish some time with your SO and little dog. It is time for a little healing and to look ahead. For a little distraction from the recent stresses, I´ve been reading Amitav Ghosh´s Sea of Poppies and have been listening to Aaron Copland´s Appalachian Spring, a quirky CD by the name of The Goat Rodeo Sessions with Yo-Yo, Ma and Charpentier´s Messe de minuit pour Noël. Just a few other ideas to add to your back-up list of ideas for your coming BREAK!!! And all this with my theatrical backdrop of living in Sabana Grande…while pistol bullet pops punctuated the background musical celebration on Sunday night…even a machine gun solo (I kid you not) coming from one of the invaded hotels just behind us. I was equally shocked. They could even have rockets, missiles and a tank stored in the sotono. I simply would not be surprised anymore. Hahaha…but not funny, mind you! Yes, selfishly, I want you to always be there with your wit…so you go ahead and analyze Sunday´s results!!!

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  20. I'd be happy to read your analysis!

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  21. Your analysis was still good, Daniel - because you did not guess wildly but supported your conclusions with the best facts you had available. Do not be ashamed, you did a good job and your credibility is intact. I still believe you and I still follow you. There remains the possibility of fraud but we are unlikely to ever have the straight story on that, so there is no sense in wondering. Just be proud of all the best efforts you have made, the rest of us already are.

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  22. Anonymous5:09 PM

    J. J.

    Daniel, I am a scientist as you are and live overseas.

    Every morning I read your blog.

    Please go ahead and continue writing and do not worry about mistakes.

    We will appreciate your efforts.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Analysis please, Daniel.

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  24. That is my Daniel!i am glad you are back. Please do a good post on the results.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous6:17 PM

    Please go ahead, I appreciate your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Please, continue writing.
    Your bog helps a lot for people to make sense on what happens and what it means. I direct my my english speaking friends to read it when they ask me about Venezuela.

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  27. You have a green light,do it.

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  28. Daniel please do the analysis. If I were you I wouldn't be so sad about blowing in it this time. You have not the resources of polling companies and their prediction was also way off. We have to learn than in Venezuela, is almost impossible, to predict an election. To many factors affect the outcome. Using a mathematical expression: we have to many variables and not enough equations.

    ReplyDelete
  29. If someone convinced me of a very likely Capriles victory was your analysis. Miguel on the other hand gave me the sobering idea of a close race. None was at first right.
    But something that i am lingering about from sunday night is an analysis from you. No mater what the result was i still believe you are one of the best in giving serious and reasoned information

    ReplyDelete
  30. If you don't do the analisis I'll get mad at you!

    Can you please do it?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous9:24 PM

    Do the math!

    I saw very good results in Anz, Bolivar, Amazonas, Lara, Miranda, Merida and Tachira!

    We got A LOT of votes there!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Enrique9:34 PM

    Daniel, please, publish your analysis. I really know what it takes to make a prediction based on very few data points. Mistakes are part of the business, one learns from them. I really enjoy reading your analyses even though sometimes I disagree with them. It is always good to have a different point of view to get one out of the comfort zone. By the way, keep writing about Venezuela politics, you are really good at it. Thanks for your hard work.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Juan CTT12:30 AM

    You have a go for liftoff, please continue the mission.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous1:56 AM

    I would be interested to find out what else can we learn from the data

    ReplyDelete
  35. Since this is about Venezuela and all things are permitted.... Would I be allowed to comment multiple times and hope that you don't notice the inflated comment count? I could even pay a few friends to leave an encouraging comment :-)

    Not sure if you want to post "idiotic" comments like this one but I thought it was funny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This week, even with a full moderation policy on the blog I am getting, and allowing, more comments than usual. But we all deserve some catharsis. Having comments pleases me and stresses me because I am old school and I can never get over the idea that it is polite to reply to each and everyone... Which I cannot. Trust me, with a dozen of comments per post I am fullfilled.

      Delete
  36. Romano Kratohvil7:19 AM

    Your analysis will be highly appreciated. Keep on writing as your blog is a kind of catharsis for me.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Daniel, I expect a good article about why you think your predictions were off this time round. I kept saying to people mentioning pollsters last Sunday "the best electoral analyst I know (Daniel Duquenal) thinks Capriles will win by 600,000 votes..."

    I really want to understand why you, and many others I don't respect nearly as much, got it wrong, when your truly, from thousands kilometres away, could be so convinced that you were all mistaken in your analysis. Was it wishful thinking? Hope taking the better of you? Denial?

    Please carry on writing, we'll carry on, as ever, reading and enjoying your posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Errrhhh... the post above is not enough? Or you forgot to add -ed to expect in your comment?

      Delete
    2. Question, Alek: if you were "so convinced that (others) were all mistaken in (their) analysis" why would you even bother mentioning Daniel's prediction to people mentioning pollsters last Sunday? To mollify your listeners? Doesn't add up.

      Delete
    3. No, the post above is not enough, I used the present tense on purpose.

      Delete
    4. Yes Daniel, there's "a part I did not understand" (response to my comment above at 4.27)

      The results are verified by legions of opposition volunteers, Alek states in his blog the results are solidly for Chavez, yet others (Kepler, commenting at Migual's blog) continue to find examples of sequential voters with same names voting for the same candidate. The results may be accepted, but if the data is corrupt... and if that data is seen to be "good enough" because the fault cannot be found.

      How many 170 years old folks voted this time?

      Is a little bit of corruption acceptable? Has anyone ever seen the voting program software code?

      Delete
  38. Anonymous8:33 AM

    Daniel, I already told you that the election was fixed. I saw people in globovision trying to make sense of the results; there is no sense to make. El Cdte and his lackeys can not and will not loose the presidency. They can not afford to face a free Venezuela post Chavez. For the fun of it, do a "what if" Chavez lost and Venezuela restores his judicial system and place in the international arena. You will have countries asking for the extradition of several Generals under drug charges, the case of Chavez will end up in the ICC, somebody has to answer for all the crime, the state of the jail system, the oil money wasted and given away, everybody in the administration has enough dirt on them to be put away for good either in Venezuela or other places. Not to mention Cuba will be finished. When the entire establishment know what they could face if they let democracy returned to Venezuela, how then can you expect a real election???? My sense is your study and conclusion were fine, Capriles somewhere between 6.5-7 Million. I also believe El Cdte figured out how many more people he would need to outdo that, they made up the numbers, which would required a record breaking participation (hmmm), and "ya esta!".
    why were they so concern about "violence" after the election? why Defense Minister Rangel came in public and basically said "anybody comes out in the street and we will deal with them", here is my take, they knew it was going to be a stretch with the numbers and they expected people to realized it and protest in outrage, so they had set up the scenario for it. I think they are now chuckling to realize how easy it was!


    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Yes, Daniel keep writing. I am reorganizing my life in acceptance of the outcome of the election. It is still hard to accept that Venezuelans want a lying thief for a leader.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Why is it that the CNE has not yet posted results for the Embassies/Consulates? I keep getting "No hay resultados disponibles para esta región en particular. Intente de nuevo en unos momentos"

    These and many other questions about the vote on 7O need answering. And the only blogger I know who examines and weighs data carefully, who considers all angles before measuring his electronic words, beautifully, I might add -- am I pushing it? It's sincere -- is you.

    Dale, vale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the cne publishes the embassy weeks after because each time chavez loses a 0.x %. so at least for a few days he looks better.

      Delete
  41. Anonymous4:54 AM

    Alek,

    Maybe Chavez's craziness has infected the opposition. I think that is part of his appeal: He drives a fair percentage of those with money or education mad. It was part of FDR's appeal in the US. He had many speeches about how he welcomed his enemies' hatred, and the crowds went wild. The more his enemies hated him, the greater the love of his supporters became.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Daniel, if predicting results of Venezuelan elections were easy, there would be real pollsters getting reliable results, and everyone with different results would be proven to be a crackpot and fade away. Would that the latter were true, even if not the former...

    I don't know how you would think you should get it right, when the professionals cannot. But you add insight to the process, looking both forward and backward. That is what I expect from you, rather than results I can take to a London bookie.

    ReplyDelete

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