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Venezuela Election Polls by “Respected” Consultores 21 Unreliable

By Erik Sperling | Venezuelanalysis | October 3rd 2012

With the Venezuelan presidential elections looming this Sunday, the U.S. press is dedicating increasing attention to the campaign between Hugo Chavez and opposition challenger Henrique Capriles. While nearly all polling companies, including the opposition-aligned Datanalisis, give double-digit leads for Chavez, many news organizations continue to give the impression that the race is a toss-up. Countless news agencies have focused heavily on polls conducted by Consultores 21, whose latest poll shows Capriles ahead 49.9 percent to 45.7 percent, to demonstrate that the contest is neck-and-neck.

Consultores 21 is “respected,” “reputable,” and “well-regarded,” according to the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, and Washington Post, respectively. Capriles himself has said “personally, I believe in Consultores. I’ve been looking at Consultores’ polls for many years.”

In a meeting with U.S. election monitors on Monday, influential opposition media figure Teodoro Petkoff said that Consultores is one of the only “serious” pollsters in Venezuela today (discounting Datanalisis as corrupt). It is entirely unclear how they come to this conclusion, however, as Consultores has an extremely poor record in previous Venezuelan electoral contests. For example: In the 2004 vote to recall Chavez mid-term, Consultores predicted a tie between those wanting Chavez to finish his term and those voting to recall. But the recall vote failed with Chavez garnering 60 percent of the vote.

In the 2006 presidential election between Chavez and opposition candidate Manuel Rosales, Consultores maintained that Chavez had just a 13% lead over his opponent. Chavez won that contest with a nearly 26 percent margin over Rosales (62.8% to 36.9%).

In the 2009 constitutional referendum to remove term limits for president, Consultores polls a month beforehand showed just 41.8 backing the referendum, with 56.20 opposed. The referendum passed with a 54 percent majority–almost a polar opposite result from the one predicted by Consultores.

Grave errors such as these by a polling company should have been more than enough to put them out of business. The continued existence of Consultores 21, despite their consistent lack of any semblance of accuracy, demonstrates its purpose as a mere campaign tool for opponents of Chavez. News organizations should be able to uncover and identify this type of blatant bias, and now must take steps to correct their misrepresentation of the status of the Venezuelan presidential election.

October 4, 2012 - Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. Pretty funny stuff here. A private polling firm that in 2009 mistakenly predicted that Chavez would lose a referendum, should be driven out of business because now, a few days before the 2012 presidential election, they are again predicting Chavez will lose? The source, Venezuelanalysis, is a 100% Chavez government owned operation, so it’s not surprising they would be printing ridiculously biased trash like this, but what sort of person reprints it on their blog as legitimate, and without noting the above?

    Trash propaganda; but it does at least openly show how thoroughly undemocratic the establishment rulers of Venezuela are, especially when you know this was paid for with the tax dollars of all Venezuelans. After fourteen years in power, the best they can do is call for the elimination of a private polling firm because it is predicting they might lose their hold on the oil money.

    Comment by m_astera | October 5, 2012 | Reply

    • About venezuelanalysis.com:

      Venezuelanalysis.com is an independent website produced by individuals who are dedicated to disseminating news and analysis about the current political situation in Venezuela.

      The site’s aim is to provide on-going news about developments in Venezuela, as well as to contextualize this news with in-depth analysis and background information. The site is targeted towards academics, journalists, intellectuals, policy makers from different countries, and the general public.

      Web server services and bandwith is donated by Aporrea.org, a larger site maintained by grassroots groups in Venezuela. Venezuelanalysis.com is a project of Venezuela Analysis, Inc., which is registered as a non-profit organization in New York State and of the Fundación para la Justicia Económica Global, which is a foundation that is registered in Caracas, Venezuela.

      Since our resources are limited, we need and welcome any and all donations so that we can continue to provide high quality news and analysis about Venezuela.

      The website started out in Caracas, Venezuela, in mid-2003 but as of early 2008 its contributors are all working on the site from their homes in various places in Venezuela, the U.S., and elsewhere in the world.

      While the site publishes opinion articles, it also aims for accuracy in the news and facts presented in all articles. Our goal is to be the primary resource for information and analysis on Venezuela in the English language.

      Its members are:

      Federico Fuentes
      Michael Fox
      Eva Golinger
      Kiraz Janicke
      Jan Kühn
      Tamara Pearson
      James Suggett
      Gregory Wilpert
      Rachael Boothroyd
      Ewan Robertson

      Rachael Boothroyd Rachael Boothroyd is from Liverpool, England, where she has been involved in the anti-war movement and the student movement, as well as in other initiatives aimed at constructing a viable electoral political alternative in her home country. She has a degree in Modern Foreign Languages and a Masters degree in Latin American studies, in which she concentrated on popular movements in Haiti and Venezuela. Her current work focuses on the transformation of the state apparatus in Venezuela. Rachael joined the venezuelanalysis.com team in April 2011, and also writes for Correo del Orinoco International. Her interests include; alternative models of democracy such as the communes and workers control councils, Latin American-US relations, the Venezuelan women’s movement and state-society relations. She is also involved with grassroots movements in Caracas, particularly the Commune movement.
      Federico Fuentes Federico Fuentes edits Bolivia Rising, is part of the Venezuela Analysis team and a regular contributor to the Australian based newspaper Green Left Weekly, including as part of its Caracas bureau from 2007-10. During this time he was based at the Fundacion Centro Internacional Miranda, linked to the Minister of Popular Power for University Education as a resident researcher. Together with Marta Harnecker, he headed up two of the lines of investigation there: “Political Instrument for the 21st Century” and “Popular participation in public management”. He has also co-authored two books with Harnecker on the new left in Bolivia and Paraguay and is working on two further books regarding the new left in Brazil and Ecuador. His articles have been published on ZNet, Counterpunch, MRZine, Venezuela Analysis, Aporrea, Rebelión, America XXI, Comuna and other publications and websites in both Spanish and English.
      Tamara Pearson Tamara Pearson, previously a member of the Australian Socialist Alliance and collaborator with Green Left Weekly, has been living in Merida, Venezuela, since 2007. She is active in the Bolivarian revolution, including as a spokesperson for her communal council, collaborating in an alternative education project, writing a thesis on “Creative writing as a process of empowerment in the context of alternative education” through Venezuela’s Open Studies University (UPTEM), and working with other movements such as the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP). She has been writing for and working with venezuelanalysis.com since 2008.
      Ewan Robertson Ewan Robertson is from Scotland, United Kingdom. An active socialist in his own country, he was involved for several years in the student and anti-war movements. He studied History and International Relations at Aberdeen University, followed by a master’s degree in Latin American Studies as the same institution. His master’s thesis, entitled Democracy and the Bolivarian Revolution, reflected his long standing interest in the contemporary process of political and social change underway in Venezuela. Since moving to Venezuela, Ewan has traveled around the country and visited a range of social and political projects. He joined the venezuelanalysis.com team in September 2011.. In Merida, his city of residence, he is also a volunteer teacher in the Escuelita Alternativa de Pueblo Nuevo. His interests include a focus on grassroots and revolutionary forms of democracy, community media, worker control movements, and US intervention in Venezuela.
      Gregory Wilpert Gregory Wilpert is one of the two co-founders of venezuelanalysis.com, together with Martin Sánchez, when the site launched in September 2003. Greg is a long-time activist and organizer, mostly around Latin America solidarity, but is also active around labor and ecological issues. He studied sociology at UC San Diego (B.A.) and at Brandeis University (Ph.D.). After marrying Carol Delgado in 1997, a Venezuelan who was studying in New York City at the time, Greg moved to Venezuela in 2000, with the help of a Fulbright Scholar grant, where he briefly taught development sociology at the Central University of Venezuela. In early 2002, around the time the coup attempt against Chavez took place, he was trying to figure out what to do next and decided to focus on writing about Venezuela, which resulted in a first edited book project, Coup Against Chavez in Venezuela. He then decided to launch venezuelanalysis.com together with Martin Sánchez and was the site’s main editor for six years, until 2009, and continues to do volunteer work for venezuelanalysis.com and is on the site’s Board of Directors. Greg’s second book on Venezuela, Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chávez Government, was published in late 2007 by Verso Books. In early 2008 Greg moved back to New York City, where he has been teaching political science part-time at Brooklyn College’s Graduate Center for Worker Education and also worked for a little while for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation as Venezuela Project Coordinator.

      Comment by aletho | October 6, 2012 | Reply

      • Aletho-

        What, are you so threatened or so lazy that all you can do is cut and paste the self-promo from the Venezuelanalysis site?

        My main point, which you didn’t address, was that the essay you reprinted was calling for the destruction of an independent polling company, for the crime of saying that the opposition candidate was ahead. Their previous crime was to mis-call a single referendum issue in 2009. So, they need to be done away with, because they dare print a poll that threatens the Chavez government a few days before the coming presidential election?

        And you agree with this?

        Here are the connections of a few of the propagandists, from the blurb you just pasted, with one addition: That the wife of the head of Venezuelanalysis is the Consulate General of Venezuela in the United States.

        Gregory Wilpert:…is one of the two co-founders of venezuelanalysis.comGreg’s second book on Venezuela, Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chávez Government,….After marrying Carol Delgado in 1997, a Venezuelan [Carol Delgado, Gregory Wilpert's wife, is Consulate General of Venezuela in the United States]

        Rachael Boothroyd: ….Her current work focuses on the transformation of the state apparatus in Venezuela….She is also involved with grassroots movements in Caracas, particularly the Commune movement.

        Federico Fuentes:….linked to the Minister of Popular Power for University Education as a resident researcher.

        Tamara Pearson:….is active in the Bolivarian revolution, including as a spokesperson for her communal council, collaborating in an alternative education project, writing a thesis on “Creative writing as a process of empowerment in the context of alternative education” through Venezuela’s Open Studies University (UPTEM)

        All are on the payroll of the Chavez government. Venezuelanalysis is no more an independent news site than Radio Free America; it is a fully funded propaganda mouthpiece of the Venezuelan government, and all of the writers above, at least, are taking their paycheck from the Chavez government.

        Eva Golinger? Don’t make me laugh. Talk about a bought and paid for sycophant.

        I have lived in Venezuela for many years. You have never been there, have you? Your entire knowledge about the country comes from reading government funded propaganda like this, doesn’t it?

        Comment by m_astera | October 6, 2012 | Reply

        • Apparently you fail at reading comprehension m_astera.

          The sentence; “Grave errors such as these by a polling company should have been more than enough to put them out of business.” indicates that Journalists such as the WSJ have no business citing a pollster with such a poor track record.

          Comment by aletho | October 6, 2012 | Reply

          • Right. Three “errors” worth mentioning in ten years, and only worth mentioning by a government propaganda mill because they were miscalled in the opposition’s favor? Give me a break. Do you know of any other polling companies in Venezuela, and their track record? No you don’t. Nor have you ever been to Venezuela, correct?

            And what do you have to say, now that you have been informed that the founder and editor of Venezuelanalsis is married to the Consulate General of Venezuela? And that all or almost all of the listed contributors are on the Chavez government payroll? Hmm?

            I’m guessing that you don’t care, you think that’s great. You probably also think it’s great that Chavez entire re-election campaign has been illegally funded with government money, or that an estimated 900,000 government employees were ordered to take a bus to Caracas yesterday to appear at the rally for Chavez, with full pay for the day. You approve of that, don’t you? Because all that matters is the ideology, and whatever it takes to win for those promoting the ideology. Correct? The means justify the end, correct?

            Comment by m_astera | October 6, 2012 | Reply


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