Given that I believe that it was the high turnout that decided the recent Presidential election in Chavez’ favor, it is important to consider what may or not happen in the upcoming Gubernatorial elections.
The high turnout tells me the following:
-Chavismo has a voting majority. (We lost big time!)
-This majority votes and can only be mobilized when Chavez is directly involved in the election. (2006,2009,2012)
-The opposition, with limited resources, does well in all other elections (2007,2010)
Thus, there is reason to be hopeful in the upcoming election. On the plus side:
-Some of Chavez’ picks will find resistance among the electorate
-Some regional leaderships for the opposition are strong
On the negative side:
-The unity behind the opposition is strained
-The opposition voters are discouraged, they thought they had a chance and now they don’t know what to think
-The confusion between abuse of power and fraud does not help, neither does questioning the presence of witnesses in the last election.
The last point is particularly important. The opposition has 90%+ of the Actas printed by the voting machines. This proves we had ample coverage by witnesses. It was not 100%, but it was 90%+, over 20 points better than it was ever done.
What is the complaint? That the opposition does not have the results of the audits too. But you have not heard anyone complaining that some audits showed a big discrepancy, have you? In fact, I have not heard any witness say publicly there was even a discrepancy, so that the discussion seems to be very ethereal.
Clearly, Chavismo will try to use the same strategy as it did on October 7th. But will it devote the same resources? Will people go out as much as they do for their beloved autocrat?
History says no, but at the same time it seemed that history said that abstention could not be lower than the 25% in 2006.
But it was. A similar miscalculation of 5 percentage points and the results will be quite different in the Gubernatorial elections.
But what is clear, is that if the opposition is discouraged, then our chances truly drop rapidly. Right now, talking to people here in Caracas, people seem very discouraged. Hopefully, they will change before December. But more importantly, the leadership in the opposition will not be responsible for keeping people away from the polls, like they have seemed to be trying in the last few days.