Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights

Independent, Reality-Based Analysis

Posts tagged voter turnout

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Mobilization Efforts for Venezuela’s April Election

Hugo Pérez Hernáiz

David Smilde

As Iñaki Sagarzazu argued yesterday, the only path to victory for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles runs through issues of turnout. Put differently, since opinion polls put ruling socialist party candidate Nicolas Maduro far ahead, the only thing that could make the April 14 election into an actual contest is if Capriles turns out all his voters, and some pro-Chávez voters who have doubts about Maduro stay home. This hope in the Capriles camp can’t simply be dismissed as wishful thinking. Indeed in the two elections that Chávez “lost” (the December 2007 referendum and the 2010 legislative elections) turnout was a key factor.

In a previous post regarding the 2012 elections we argued that the government has consistently shown a greater capacity for mobilizing supporters than the opposition. However, it is hard to know what that means for this election. In a series of tweets this morning, pollster Luis Vicente Leon said “This is not a traditional election and we do not know if the models we have successfully used before to estimate abstention will work.” 

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Filed under Venezuelan election voter turnout Electoral mobilization

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Mobilizing Supporters on October 7

David Smilde and Hugo Pérez Hernaíz

In a previous post we suggested that incumbent President Hugo Chávez went into the October 7 elections with a mobilization advantage. While both sides were well organized, the government’s 10x1 strategy (based on the idea that each party activist would mobilize 10 more voters), benefiting from the government’s party unity, was more focused and organized than the opposition’s Tuy2mas campaign (“You and two more” based on the idea that every voter in the primaries would bring two more to the polls). 

Indeed National Electoral Council (CNE) data show that turnout was lower than the national average in some districts. For example, voter turnout in the municipality of Chacao, a middle-class stronghold of the opposition, was 73.64%, well below the national average of 80.52%. In contrast, the parish of 23 de Enero, a Chávez stronghold, had a turnout of 82.32%, above the national average.

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Filed under Venezuelan elections voter turnout