Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 14 result and abstention


After my post of Monday tossing around some numbers I thought, during the long drive back to San Felipe, that I should be a tad more serious than tossing numbers haphazardly, that maybe an abstention graph like the one Miguel gave last year would be more telling to predict Sunday's result.

For this I decided to start with October numbers, that is 20% abstention and Maduro with Chavez numbers, while Capriles retains his. 1% abstention means that 188.000 do not go to vote. And with absolutely arbitrariness I decided that this 1% divides into 4 shares Maduro's loss and 1 share Capriles loss as he clearly has a more motivated electorate. In short, the graph below starts at 80.5% participation and for each point abstention increase I subtracted 150.400 votes from Maduro and  37.600 away from Capriles.

But this is just a "bottom line" of sorts which gives the crossing over at 66%. In other words, if voters vote as the automatons assumed to be above and if abstention is not at least 34% Capriles has no chance.

Now, we all know that this is not right: when you see Capriles in Maracaibo today, you know he will get back his October number while it is a given now that Maduro will not get Chavez October surprise. So let's give him a penalty of 3 abstention points just for himself until abstention starts hurting Capriles too. Thus you have the dotted lines which give now a crossing of the lines at 68/69. A little bit better.

Of course  I can keep playing with numbers at will and improve every line until I get Capriles trashing Maduro by zillions..... For example  not all groups start abstention at the same time and these groups are not the same size. I could say that abstention starts slowly for Capriles as it starts in the country side and he gets bigger drops when cities stop voting? Or that excess heat or excess rain slows down the voting of retirees for Maduro....  Let's not get started.

However we can at least say one thing: no matter how excited Capriles supporters may be, and no matter how many chavistas are willing to cross over, we can safely assume that Capriles needs 30% abstention to neutralize Maduro. Keep this in mind Sunday as you scan for hints. If at 5 PM abstention is less than 30%, get ready for another let down.... The little bit we know from polls do not bring solace, they vary in their prediction from 25 to 35...... In a particularly emotional election, this one may not be decided in the mind of a good third of the country until at least Saturday night.


For those who want more wonkish stuff (I am not a trained statistician though my intuition has proven often more accurate than expected).  You should go, if you can read Spanish, to @YVpolis blog. In his latest entry he gives one scenario (escenario 1, in the third graph) where Capriles can win, and it is with an abstention of 30%.  It seems that either from educated political intuition or hard number gazing from hisotricla precedents, +/- 30% abstention may well be the golden number.


  1. kernel_panic5:05 AM

    Agreed, altough I think we're just a little bit better than what you think, with 25-28 % abstention capriles still has a shot, he seems that he'll get back his october number while not even jessee chacon thinks maduro will pull the same number as chavez.

    For the time being, sadly, the best I think capriles can pull off, based on what has happened in the last few days is 7.2 maduro - 7 capriles.

    Would there be any indicator of, specifically, chavista abstention?

    1. I do not think so because the whole thing is just too emocional to measure directly. On the other hand measuring indexación of dissatisfaction could help, which is, I am sure, what Capriles people do judging Capriles Daily talking points.

    2. kernel_panic6:17 AM

      Errr... the what?

      " On the other hand measuring indexación of dissatisfaction could help, which is, I am sure, what Capriles people do judging Capriles Daily talking points."

      Could you please elaborate on this? :$

    3. Ooooops! Ducking spell checker in my tablet....

      Measuring the indicators of dissatisfaction could help, which I am sure is what Capriles people do judging Capriles daily talking point.

      That is, Capriles targets his daily attacks very effectively which indicates that some research is made to make sure he hits the target without dispersing himself.

      Sorry, but tablet reply late at night should be avoided.

    4. Moraimag7:07 PM

      Daniel, one thing I have not seen in anyone's analysis is the effect of the "tarjeta unica". Last election I seem to remember they stole 250K votes from under our noses using those tricks of fake parties supporting capriles and changing at the last minute. I might be wrong in the number, but they won't be able to do that this time, so their baseline and our baseline should be different, count for capriles those stolen votes and discount them from Chavez number. What do you think?

    5. Moraimag

      No, I have not addressed this but I am preparing a post which will include this and more :)

      And it was not 250k that were stolen through Sequera and other crap, at most 50k. If it marked people it is it was enough for Capriles to lose Miranda though I doubt it myself, once all the votes were counted.

  2. kernel_panic5:41 AM

    OT: Lesson for the future: if you don't go to vote on two consecutive elections, you have to re-register at the CNE, it just can't be possible that the future of a country depends on a completely unpredictable 30% :S

  3. Anonymous5:50 AM

    In all of the comparisons that I have seen, everyone is assuming that the numbers from October were real, and using them as such to predict gains and losses from popularity and the part abstentions play. I remain convinced, although many may argue, that the totals anounced by the cne in October were fabricated for the desired outcome, and that if the "real" count is allowed sunday that the results will swing heavily in Capriles favor.


    1. Do you have evidence for what you postulantes? Been "convinced" is not enough. At least correo me.

  4. Roberto Carlos10:38 AM

    What evidence do you have for your own silly numbers? You even start your post with "After my post of Monday tossing around some numbers ...".

    Unless you are willing to put some "skin" in the game, your guesses are as good as anybody else'.

    What you are doing is "tossing" numbers with big charts that mean absolutely N O T H I N G.

    1. Roberto carlos

      I am sorry that you did not get the point of this text which was MERELY to illustrate that Capriles needs abstention to secure his victory. The amount of this abstention depending on the model chosen.

      This being said the editor of this blog certainly would understand that you do not come back ever to waste your time reading nothing.

    2. Roberto Carlos5:57 PM

      Daniel I come to your blog looking for vignettes of the daily hardships of living in Venezuela. At that you are superb.
      But when you try to apply statistical and mathematical principles on unreliable data that you get from the CNE or from polling organizations with an ax to grind you are waisting your talents.

      All the charts and assumptions about levels of abstention are nothing more than a reflection of your "gut feeling".

      But the interesting part of your reply to me is that you used "the third person" to refer to yourself.
      That is a "tell" as they say in poker of a narcissitic personality. Someone who has an exaggerated view of how great they are. That is why you work hard on the charts and meaningless assumptions and couched them in scientific babble, you use them to sound important and puff up your ego. But I understand, you can't help it, after all you are french.

    3. I usually do not reply to insults but I will make an exception: you are actually taking my blog more seriously than what I do.

  5. margareth12:55 PM

    If Capriles doesn't win this all might pack up your suitcases, because there will be no way out of Communism anymore!!

    1. margareth1:05 PM

      and I hope there will be no clashes.

  6. Anonymous3:15 PM

    I suppose if there was hard evidence, we wouldn't be talking about this today. I have seen as everyone else the cell phone videos of the repetitive votes cast at the polling stations. I would imply that this was not as isolated an incident as one would think and that the most important tidbits from those videos are that:
    1. The fingerprint scanners are a sham, and do not prevent repetitive votes if in the right hands.
    2. If multiple votes are possible in this system, why would you think that they can't be cast remotely, or even through a preprogrammed injection of electronic votes from a remote location from an electoral roll? The codes has been confessed to have been available, only with the intent to deter opposition votes with the possibility that their vote in the end will not count. These guys are so confident and stupid at the same time that they are telling you that they are controlling the situation.

    If you believe the lies and propaganda, as well as the numbers from October, then one would think that maduro could duplicate and even increase his support to his campaign promise of 60%. Smoke and mirrors my friend. The support for maduro, or even to continue with chavez's insane revolution is not there. Nor was it intact in October. The recycled paid, pressured, and bussed support for maduro marches tell the story. Look past the first few rows into the crowd to see the "real" enthusiasm.

    In October, the economy had tanked, markets were bare, and chavez was dieing on the vine. Government employees who were heavily in favor of chavez in 2006 when Rosales mounted a lackluster campain, were now at least 30% swing votes for Capriles. There was no joy here on October 8 when chavez was given the election. It looked like a wake where a close friend had just passed...That friend was their future. This percentage of swing vote is higher now with the obvious poor choice and incompetence of maduro and the strong campain from Capriles. This is my local indicator, and maybe it is different from other parts of the country. But if you can't get a government employee to support the government, that is a telling tale. Each one of these employees have extended families and they vote as units, one way or another. Unless the influx of new cuban, chinese, iranian etc. cedulas and voters from last year can counter this loss, there would be no reason to believe that support will increase in this election for maduro.

    Once again, and I am sure you are tired of the referrence, I have to use the 2007 reform vote as an example of tibesay, the cne, and the military influence. Had not Baduel forced the actual vote to be anounced that night, chavez would have won then, and there would have been no need to repeat the vote in 2008 once Baduel had been imprisoned. Even if the electronic votes are collected correctly and tallied, in the end tibisay will be handed a script to anounce the desired result. How will that be prevented this time is the question to be asked. Capriles is addressing this with direct pressure on tibisay and the cne to respect the vote. Will her fear of chavismo once again overcome her moral integrity? My guess is yes unless the military once again upholds the vote.

    Chavismo has many levels or plans for controlling the vote:
    1. Plan A would be if they can win with actual vote count, but implies transport reservation and manipulation, voting machine failures in opposition strongholds...anything to delay or deter voters, shuffling voters from station to station or simply returning with a change of shirt to the same station to use their 3 forms of identification to cast at least 3 votes. This is only available at select stations but has only been used widespread by chavismo.
    2. Plan A is not enough, and the electoral roll votes are implemented electronically, locally or remotely.
    3. Plan C will be the script handed tibisay on the night of April 14.

    I have an iron in the fire, and all I want is a change. Capriles offers that hope.


  7. Dr. Faustus3:19 PM

    Daniel's point from the previous post:

    "There is thus the matter of whether Capriles can gain an extra 600K, or Maduro lose an extra 300K."

    That's it. Simple and to the point.

    Of the nearly 14 million votes that were cast in the last election (October), a swing of five hundred thousand or so votes is all that it would take for a different outcome. IT CAN BE DONE!

  8. What about crossover? Aren't you assuming the existence of a portion of the electorate that swings allegiance? I think you did in your previous post.
    Separately, has anyone read the Datin poll which has Maduro up by only 1 point. 10 April.

    1. It is very difficult to look, speculate at crossover. I am sure that there will be some. That is why I did not include cross over in this hyper simplistic chart. But if I include that then we could have a 10%abstention and Capriles winning anyway.....

  9. margareth3:53 PM

    That van which caught fire, with the polling machines inside.......I don't trust that.
    By the way how many death people will vote? ;) Happened in Paraguay under Stroesnner regime.

  10. Ronaldo4:12 PM

    Will the opposition have observers counting the number of voters entering each mesa?
    If more votes than voters appear than fraud is present.

    Double or tripling voting might go against Maduro if they think someone with a Chavez t-shirt will not vote for Capriles.
    Once a Chavista, always a Chavista is not true.

    As far as the dead voting, I contend that one of the candidates, Chavez, is dead also. Chavez has had his own campaign, with posters and videos all over the place.

  11. Daniel, I wish you are right, but we need to be careful over- using the abstention analogy.. I believe the "abstention" predictions cannot be used, as the electoral machinery and funds that will be used by Maduro gangs will bring every breathing person to the polls... We all were too optimistic counting on Chavismo abstentions the last time in October, and probably let our hope win over real statistics. I want Capriles to win, but I think there is just not enough time... My gut (no statistics) is Maduro will win by 7%. I base this on Capriles gaining 5% of Chavismo voters. Maybe in long term it is better, so Maduro can suffer through all the ills and mistakes of the regime. ANd then finally the people will open their eyes.

    1. Operacion remolque has its limits. There is only so many people the regime can carry in a couple of hours. It will exist for sure but I do not think it will be as effective as last time.

  12. Island Canuck5:51 PM

    "2. If multiple votes are possible in this system, why would you think that they can't be cast remotely, or even through a preprogrammed injection of electronic votes from a remote location from an electoral roll?"

    That would be very difficult because the paper receipts are in the box & will be counted (at least 50%). The numbers have to add up. How would they get the papers in the box if there are witnesses there?

    Another point which I brought up over the last 2 weeks was when would Capriles be sworn in if he wins.
    There is a very good explanation in Sol de Margarita:

    1. ¿Cuándo debe juramentarse el nuevo presidente?

    El nuevo presidente debe juramentarse “lo más pronto” posible luego de que sea proclamado por el Consejo Nacional Electoral como Presidente electo. Una vez juramentado iniciará su período de Gobierno.

    2. ¿Quién lo juramenta?

    La juramentación como Presidente de la República la realizará la Asamblea Nacional. El órgano una vez notificado por el CNE de quién es el ganador, procederá a convocar a una sesión especial extraordinaria para la juramentación.

    3. ¿Hasta cuándo dura el nuevo período constitucional?

    El período constitucional finalizará el 10 de enero de 2019. Por tratarse de una elección para cubrir una falta absoluta, causada por la muerte del Presidente en ejercicio, antes de los cuatro años de Gobierno, el ganador debe “completar” el período 2013-2019 para el que fue electo en este caso el fallecido presidente Hugo Chávez.

    4. ¿Y qué pasa con la fecha del 10 de enero que está establecida en la Constitución?

    La Constitución fija el 10 de enero como fecha para iniciar un nuevo período constitucional, pero en este caso, no se trata de un período nuevo sino de darle continuidad al que se eligió en octubre de 2012 y que se inició el pasado 10 de enero de 2013. Por ello no hace falta esperar al 2014 para tomar posesión del cargo.

    5. ¿Desde qué fecha el nuevo Presidente puede dictar decretos?

    El Presidente podrá dictar decretos inmediatamente después de juramentarse en la Asamblea Nacional. El primer decreto deberá ser para conformar su gobierno, designando o ratificando, al Vicepresidente de la República y los Ministros.

  13. Anonymous6:07 PM

  14. Anonymous6:35 PM

    "2. If multiple votes are possible in this system, why would you think that they can't be cast remotely, or even through a preprogrammed injection of electronic votes from a remote location from an electoral roll?"

    "That would be very difficult because the paper receipts are in the box & will be counted (at least 50%). The numbers have to add up. How would they get the papers in the box if there are witnesses there?"

    50%? Count 8 million paper ballots, when the national guard usually is actively burning the boxes the following day? Don't count on that to happen as you have to understand which side is in control, and who stands to lose if they are counted. If you are talking about the cne hand picked boxes that may be counted for validity of the machines, those are just that...hand picked. It will be 2004 all over again and only fitting that the carter center has been asked to once again witness.


    1. Moraimag7:00 PM

      Concerned, you really don't seem to know the system. I have been witness in elections and at the end of the day some boxes are chosen randomly with papers that people in the room put in a box and choose from (half plus one of all the boxes from each center) and those are counted manually and checked against acts. That's why it's so important to have witnesses, the only way for them to achieve anything by burning the boxes is if no one was there to validate that the box content and the acts match.
      And the opposition has gotten much much better at this. Why don't you focus on constructive things like how can we ensure we help with the Get Out the vote effort in our side? They are better at that than us and that's key.

  15. Anonymous7:13 PM


    Well said. You are right, I may not really understand the system and rely too much on heresay and vent my own frustration.

    That being said, I hope you are right and the opposition has closed those past windows of opportunity for fraud, and the vote speaks for itself. If that is the case then Monday we will celebrate. Good luck, and I will do my part to get my family to the polls Sunday.


  16. Regarding the elecctions I sense two train of thoughts (realities). I one people are crunching numbers and making predictions the best they can, arguing at times and staying hopeful that voters could surprise the world. In the other, a few people based on past elections pattern and what we know of the Cubans and the regime believe there will be manipulations to hand Maduro a win.
    I find it hard to really get my heart behind the first reality, and get upset at this or that assumption, possible outcomes, and margins. I believe in that second reality in which CNE can undo, with one swift mark of the pencil, anything that may happen at the voting polls.
    I think both points have been well argued here and we are free to adhere to either view. One thing that bothers me to no end are the "international observers", I see a bunch of operatives with vested interest and a proven track of looking the other way, with the only mission to ensure that the regime continues. No matter what the regime decides to do on Sunday, they will speak to the world of "clear and free elections", take their parting gift and leave. these observers represent the underwritters of what has been going on in Venezuela. The fact that so many debtors are sending observers makes me believe all is planned, accounted for, and the final tally is in tibisay's hands already.

    As far as thinking that a Maduro win could be positive in the long run, I totally disagree. Once he is seated in the throne, he won't be moved. Nothing, not a destroyed economy, student protest, skyrocket crime rates, target persecucion, unemployment, nothing will get him out. Once he is in, you will have him for life, not just him but the system he represent.

    Venezuela please surprise me, prove me wrong!!!

    1. I agree with you Orlando on just about every point.

      I wish I had more hope but I do not.Of course anything could happen so I always keep an open mind to surprises.

      To me the problem is not so much that some people believe this or that. I wonder if people will object to any wrongdoing that will occur.....this is my principle concern, and obsession right now.


  17. Ronaldo9:28 PM

    "As far as thinking that a Maduro win could be positive in the long run, I totally disagree. Once he is seated in the throne, he won't be moved. Nothing, not a destroyed economy, student protest, skyrocketing crime rates, target persecution, unemployment, nothing will get him out. Once he is in, you will have him for life, not just him but the system he represent."

    My greatest concern exactly. Maduro will be as ruthless as the Cuban dictators that taught him and control him. People talk of Maduro lasting less than a year because conditions will be so bad. Maduro will only care about keeping power and not about human rights, the poor, or the future of Venezuela.

  18. Island Canuck4:20 AM

    I just spent this afternoon in a caravana in La Asuncion in Isla Margarita. There were more than 100 (maybe 150) cars plus hundreds of people. Everyone was smiling & enthusiastic.

    This was not what impressed me. As we drove through the pueblos & as other cars approached us there was a real support from both the local people & from the other drivers. Water trucks, taxis, old jalopies, an old lady about 90 in a wheel chair all waving flags & photos of Capriles.

    Were there Chavistas? Sure. But a very small %.

    For the 1st time in this campaign I'm beginning to have faith that on Sunday we will prevail. Whether they will give us the victory is another story waiting for Monday morning.

    If we guard the votes we will win.

    Now I've said it. This time I'm convinced we will win.


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