Really... as if pandemonium could still not happen until next Sunday [deep sigh].
But here they are, my last predictions if possible, where I give Capriles 540,000 more votes than Chavez. That means that with a 25% abstention Capriles would get around 7.3 million votes to Chavez 6.7 million. In percentage that would be 51,4% to Chavez 47,6% and the rest to minor guys.
First a correction from previous predictions. I updated the "registered" voters column. It really does not change much from my previous calculations, at most a percentile point according to a given state population increase.
I give red or blue to a state when my predicted advantage in that state is equal to 5% of the registered voters. Those states are, so to speak, solid predictions. In light blue or red we will consider as tending to Capriles or Chavez, states that could still somewhat be shifted back this week, or made solid.
When Chavez is ahead his advantage is marked on positive percentage but when Capriles is ahead I marked it in negative percentage, to make my life easier with Excel.
Finally my "lower" column is my actual prediction, though I have indulged in a "upper" scenario where I give an extra 200,000 to Capriles, mostly due to his performance yesterday in Caracas. My gut feeling is that Capriles will cross the 1 million mark, but I have been conservative all along. In a way it does not matter for my reputation because if Chavez wins I probably will never bother with these exercises again and if Capriles win I will not have the need to bother with such games again. A win-win from hell for me :)
Two general considerations. First, in spite of Capriles huge success in his street rallies, I only take this as meaning the momentum is his way. Second, the momentum of Capriles affects him in that it may lower abstention which favors Chavez. Thus I have brought back up the participation to 75%. And yet I have not changed my basic model because I also think that Capriles has been able to pry directly away votes from Chavez. Not a lot, mind you, but enough to compensate for the lower abstention within chavismo.
By zones, in the table order.
The Llanos. In spite of all the best effort of Capriles these remain missionary territory for the opposition. In fact this may be the undoing of my system because I am afraid I may have been a tad indulgent with Capriles Then again there was that rain soaked meeting in San Juan de los Morros which has gotta mean something as people stayed, under the rain, anyway, waiting for Capriles....
The Andes. If Tachira remains solid for Capriles I place Merida solid in my "upper" scenario. Trujillo, in spite of the expected victory in Valera will remain with Chavez.
Oriente. This is a mixed bag and it is where the election will really be played. I am not putting Monagas in Capriles column. However it still would be a major defeat for Chavez because he is bound to lose there 20 points from his 2006 score. And my gut feeling is that Capriles will beat him there anyway. But I cannot eschew historical trends that easily. Anzoategui is solid for Capriles courtesy of the AD candidate for governor. Margarita has been too battered by the regime not to be taken by Capriles, probably by 5 points more than I indicate. But the other states have still underlying factors that may favor Chavez in the end. We will see.
The Centro. This is Capriles territory. Vargas really does not count for much and Aragua could well end up in a squeaky victory for Capriles. Aragua, with Monagas, is the potentially worse upset for Chavismo. A Chavez defeat in Aragua not only seals Capriles victory but will give him an easier transition as chavismo will be really weakened by a defeat in its historic area, an area that it has targeted and nursed for so long. Caracas Libertador is now going Capriles for sure though I am not sure if he can claim more than 5% margin. After all, in 2010 it was barely a 1% spread and voting patterns in Caracas do not change as fast, no matter what a huge success he got last Sunday.
Zulia. They do not like Capriles that much there anyway. However.... Pablo Perez is young and smart enough to understand that his political future is best ensured by a Capriles victory. And thus he has worked his butt off for Capriles. And also Zulia has been so battered, black mailed and what not that rejection of chavismo runs deep there. I am willing to bet that Capriles will win by at least 10 points.
My home area. Falcon is iffy, too many areas depending on the regime's largess Lara has the Falcon effect, a little bit like the Perez factor in Zulia. It is the area where the opposition can really take away votes directly from chavismo without going through an "abstention" period. Even though I am putting it with 10 points it really could go as low as 5 and as high as 15 for Capriles. Whatever, it goes in the Capriles column. That will be made certain by Capriles closing there next Wednesday, Barquisimeto which accounts for more than half the votes.