The Chávez Minority

Quico says: Here’s one to mull: What kind of person votes for a PSUV candidate for governor, but not on the PSUV ticket?

It’s a question that’ll be ever more relevant in the coming weeks because, while PSUV candidates won 52.7% of the vote for governor 10 days ago, Chávez’s party ticket got just 46.7% of the vote.

We’re talking about the 20% of voters in Lara who backed Henry Falcon, but not the PSUV ticket. We’re talking about the 10% of voters in Monagas who backed El Gato Briceño, but not PSUV. And the 7% of Aragüeños who voted for Rafael Isea off the PSUV ticket.

Nationwide, 6% of voters backed PSUV candidates but not on the PSUV ticket. Why would you do that?

To me, it’s clear: 1 out of every 9 chavista voters wanted to make a statement. They wanted to vote for Chávez’s candidates, but that doesn’t mean they wanted to vote for Chávez. The gap between the PSUV candidates’ vote and the PSUV ticket’s vote is the measure of “Chavismo Lite”. These are people who made a very clear statement: they’re not about to write Chávez a blank check.

So, come referendum time, what’s the relevant metric for Chávez’s hardcore support? 52.7%? Or 46.7%? You tell me…