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Alfredo Keller: "In July 27% had intentions to vote for Hugo Chavez"

By Aleksander Boyd

London 28.08.06 | Alfredo Keller is regarded as Venezuela's sole trustworthy pollster. El Universal has published an interview with Keller in which he states that Chavez is sailing against the wind, that chavismo is far from being a homogenous movement, but more importantly, he hinted that the real vote-intention percentage that favours Chavez is only 27% as of studies conducted in July concluded.

His assertions may come as a surprise to some. To foreign observers the premise that the 'revolution' spearheaded by Chavez is a monolithic movement is a given. However that is not the case, as we have seen recently how chavista footsoldiers acting on own initiative set free Carlos Ortega or decided to hurl abuse at opposition mayors in public events, revealing fascist tendencies.

Keller seems to agree that although Rosales is not a gifted orator he is saying all the right things, in a campaign where content, rather than histrionic attributes, may decide the race. The fact that Rosales started his campaign with a 35% vote-intention is definitely an unpredicted sign of strenght, although such percentage could decrease to 29% in real terms. "Not bad for someone that only in January had 2% or 3%" noted Keller.

Indeed the base of Rosales campaign should be to remind Venezuelans of the enormous failure of the Chavez administration after nearly 8 years and historically unmatched oil income windfall. Contrastingly in nearly the same period of time Rosales has done an excellent job in his Zulia state, where he has beaten Chavez's hand-picked candidates and his perfomance in social areas excels when compared to Chavez's track record.

In Keller's opinion the government lacks arguments, a conclusion that Venezuelans from all sorts of backgrounds are reaching.

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