Saturday, December 12, 2015

The 2015 results: Caucaguita (and Caracas) sweetest moment for the MUD

No need to go in where the opposition did its best score, the 112 new 2/3 majority speaks of itself, the blog entry to cover it all would be too long. Instead let's go where the opposition victory may have been the sweetest: Caracas and greater Caracas.

The title of a recent blog entry was "As Caucaguita goes so will the election". I did not know I would be proven so right. Unbelievably the opposition took Caucaguita, going a long way to explain how the MUD took the double seat district of Guarenas and Guatire (and the rest of the country). I was expecting at best, from the graph of that entry, an even score. Well, in Caucaguita the opposition list won with 50.21% against the PSUV list at 46.95%. The closest result for the opposition in Caucaguita were 5 years ago when the opposition list got 80% of what chavismo got. This time it got 110% of the chavista vote....

But if Caucaguita remains justifiably for this blog the bellwether district, the smashing win in Caucaguita was the reflection of the smashing win across the country, none as sweet that the conquest of Caracas and almost all of the greater Caracas. If a popular, urban, low income district like Caucaguita went MUD, how could similar districts of Vargas, Libertador, Petare do otherwise?

The Caracas districts sweep across 5 town-hall, with Libertador, where seat of government resides, being about half the size. The MUD took ALL.

In Libertador the MUD beat 57 to 40 the regime! It took 23 de Enero where the mother of fake revolution martyr Robert Serra was running. In Catia "safe seats" where regime's stars Bernal and Villegas were running, the MUD candidates won by 12%. Jacqueline Faria who said that long lines were fun was trashed by 12% also, in what was supposedly another safe seat reserved for her. Jose Guerra, on foot, house by house, with no budget, took on Jesus Faria, former communist, economist degree from RDA Berlin, ex minister of Chavez, credit control comission at the NA, and beat him by 9 points. In total, 8 out of 9 seats.

In Miranda as expected the opposition took Baruta/Chacao. But the regime had gerrymandered the two districts of Baruta/Chacao/Petare in such ways that from 4 seats it only sends 2 this time around, using the trimmed and outright stolen portion to reinforce chavistas districts in the South and East of Caracas. And yet it did not work. Placing Caucaguita and similar districts with Guarenas and Guatire to improve chavismo chances did not work: Capriles state secretary list took the district. D'Elia beat by 8 points what was supposed to be a relative safe seat for Eekhout, the strident pasionaria of the regime that was a National Assembly vice president. The other greater Caracas districts went one for the MUD (San Antonio/Los Teques) while the Southern district did remain chavista. If Jaua did manage to get elected it is still a bitter defeat for him and the regime. Dispatched in 2013 to Miranda as a viceroy with a parallel budget and organization to sabotage Capriles, the state wide list of the PSUV was trashed by 20 points. TWENTY POINTS! Yet the gerrymandering was so effective that with its total 5 out of 12 seats the PSUV still gets somewhat over represented.

I have saved the best for last: Vargas. As the Northern border of Caracas Vargas is part of the greater Caracas. A state which has been incomprehensibly chavista when we consider how Chavez mistreated them, it went opposition this time, to the surprise of most observers. And not only it went MUD, but it did so clearly with 52 to 45, giving three out of its 4 seats to the MUD.

The victory for the MUD in the greater Caracas was stunning. It got all the district seats of Caracas and 5 out of 8 of the greater Caracas.  It got votes all across demographics, from wealthy Hatillo districts to emblematic 23 de Enero, where Chavez used to vote, with a clown martyr of the revolution in Robert Serra, where paramilitary colectivos like infamous La Piedrita rule. When 23 de Enero votes were counted in full, the MUD had 48.64% to the 48.16% of chavismo alliance (PSUV alone 44.8 %).

Two years of long lines under the sun took a toll: bastions like Caucaguita and 23 de Enero fell in spite of all the blackmail, pressure, bribes, vote buying and even colectivo terror. End of an era for racial and class divides promoted from the regime.


  1. Anonymous2:54 PM

    Daniel, when do you think MUD will cut off all funding to propoganda media outlets eg Telesur.

  2. Boludo Tejano8:24 PM

    If a popular, urban, low income district like Caucaguita went MUD, how could similar districts of Vargas, Libertador, Petare do otherwise?

    Agreed, but Petare went oppo years ago when it voted against Chavismo in the 2007 Constitutional Referendum. In any event, your previous posting on Cacaguita was prescient. Your "oppo votes as a percentage of Chavista votes" meme has been very useful over the years for tracking the changes in voting patterns.

    A further point on Petare is that Chavismo's gerrymandering for the 2010 and 2015 legislative elections took Petare into account. Following is a "table" of Miranda Circuits with Registered Voters and number of Deputies per Circuit, and who won the Circuit. Number of Deputies in boldface. Petare is the Miranda 3 Circuit.

    Registered voters/ ELECTORES ESPERADOS /# Deputies/Winner

    Miranda 1 294,173 1 Unidad/MUD
    Miranda 2 435,755 1 Unidad/MUD
    Miranda 3 329, 301 1 Unidad/MUD
    Miranda 4 351.844 2 Unidad/MUD
    Miranda 5 173,223 1 PSUV
    Miranda 6 295,022 2 PSUV
    Miranda 7 163,102 1 PSUV

    (Data from CNE 2015 Legislative Results: Miranda)

    A cursory look shows that Chavista/PSUV Circuits have a decidedly lower number of registered voters compared to Oppo/MUD Circuits-and more so when one factors in the number of registered voters per Deputy in that Circuit. When you add up the Registered voters in Miranda Circuits and compare with # of Deputies according to which party took the Circuit, you get the following.

    Miranda: Registered Voters # Deputies
    Oppo/Unidad/MUD Circuits 1,411,073 5
    Chavista/PSUV Circuits 631,347 4

    When you look at the number of registered voters per Deputy in PSUV versus MUD circuits, you get the following:
    Miranda: Registered Voters per Deputy
    Oppo/Unidad/MUD 282,215
    Chavismo/PSUV 157,837

    In 2015, Chavismo was still able to extract unfair advantage out of gerrymandering. Perhaps Chavismo singled Petare or similar Circuits out for punishment: "You were supposed to vote for us, but as you didn't and won't, your vote will count for less."

    A further point about gerrymandering in Miranda is that in 2010, Miranda 2 was assigned 2 Deputies. Undoubtedly as punishment for having voted Oppo in 2010, Miranda 2 was assigned 1 Deputy in 2015. Miranda 6, a Chavista Circuit in both 2010 and 2015, got the Deputy that CNE took away from oppo Miranda 2.

    However, Miranda also has an example of Chavista gerrymandering working against Chavismo in 2015. Miranda 4 was assigned 2 Deputies in 2010, and both Chavista/PSUV candidates won by about 26% versus 22% for the Oppo.MUD candidates in 2010. In 2015, Chavista gerrymandering worked to the advantage of the Oppo/MUD candidates, who won in 2015 by 26% versus 22% for the Chavista/PSUV candidates.

    Conclusion: in some instances- as many have already pointed out- Chavista gerrymandering worked to Chavismo's disadvantage when a previously Chavista Circuit went oppo. But in other instances, Chavista gerrrymandering still worked to its advantage. Not as many people have pointed the latter out.

    1. The flaw in gerrymandering is that every state has 2 representatives list seats. In polarization time there is 1 for each (except Zulia Miranda and Carabobo that had three, 2 for MUD). This does hide whether gerrymandering was truly effective.

      At any rate this was not a post about gerrymandering but a post at how Caracas went ALL oppo and most of grater Caracas. But your additional information is most welcome and will save me time if I write again about gerrymandering. :)

      Then again with a new CNE gerrymandering might stop. One can always hope... In fact more importantly are the multi circuit which are truly a disgrace!!!!! EXACTLY the tactic used to restrict minority representation (e.g. in the US South).

  3. Boludo Tejano8:35 PM

    When you take out Miranda 4, which switched from Chavista to Oppo from 2010 and 2015, and look at Miranda Circuits which didn't change sides from 2010 and 2015, you get the following picture of Chavista gerrymandering in Miranda:

    Unchanged Oppo Circuits: 353,076 registered voters per Deputy
    Unchanged Chavista Circuits: 157,837 registered voters per Deputy.

  4. Boludo, gerrymandering blew up in the regime's face. They drew the districts so they could win, say, 65% of the seats with 55% of the vote, by having a lot of seats with a slightly more chavista lean and pack the rest of the anti- voters into a few seats. That works when you win a majority of the popular vote, but it works in the opposite direction if you lose a majority of the vote because all the sudden those marginal pro-chavista seats become vulnerable.

  5. Boludo Tejano10:47 PM

    Boludo, gerrymandering blew up in the regime's face

    ConsDemo,that is the standard narrative. I agree that Miranda 4 fits that narrative. Chavismo gerrymandered Miranda 4 as it expected Miranda 4 go Chavista again, and Miranda 4 went Oppo. However,overall in Miranda State, gerrymandering worked to Chavismo's advantage.

    Recall these numbers for Miranda State:
    282,215 Registered Voters per Oppo Deputy
    157,837 Registered Voters per Chavista Deputy

    And you are going to inform me that the overall effect of gerrymandering in Miranda State was to hurt Chavismo?

    Thanks for reading and commenting on my posting.


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