To read this post in Spanish, click here.
This Sunday’s election in Venezuela seemed to be a foregone conclusion: many assumed Nicolás Maduro, right hand man of Hugo Chavez and his hand-picked successor, would easily claim victory. And they did so with just cause: only six months ago, Chávez handily won re-election by an 11-point margin, winning even more votes than his 2006 victory. Yet this was not the case on Sunday. The announced result gave Maduro a victory of just over a percentage point – a surprise for many. But for those systematically listening to voters, Maduro’s win was always on shaky ground.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner has done extensive public opinion research in Venezuela – hundreds of focus groups and scores of surveys – and the focus groups we conducted in Caracas just nine days after Chavez’s death among swing voters showed a new opening for challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski.