Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Anticipating the Venezuelan election

The Venezuelan presidential election is coming up on Sunday. The Miami Herald has an interesting article on the proliferation of questionable polls. You can find a poll that gives either candidate a clear victory.

There is even dispute about popular mobilization, as both candidates just held large rallies. But which was larger? Ka even comes up with a very creative estimate using Google earth, and calculating width of the road used, etc.

The article makes the very good point that these disputes suggest that each side believes it should win, and therefore will claim fraud if that outcome does not occur. An article by Oxford Analytica concurs, and has an analysis arguing that Rosales will lose and his campaign has failed. It also speculates that Rosales supporters are more likely to stay home because of fraud concerns, which will further fuel mutual suspicion and hostility.

It is hard to conceive of an outcome that will contribute to political and social stability in the country. Or at least I haven't seen one.


Anonymous,  12:14 AM  

The problem with the polls (i.e. Zogby, AP) that are cited in the international media is that they do not account for the fear factor. Their ask people face to face at their home "who will you vote for" but when you have the governemtn officials (including Chavez) saying "vote for me or else you will lose your job". What do you expect someone to say to the pollster?

Greg Weeks 12:13 PM  

I don't know enough about the structure of every poll to answer confidently. At this point, though, I'm happy to wait for the voting, the opinions of the election observers, and go from there.

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