Maduro
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President Nicolás Maduro
One of these reasons [increased popularity] is that President Nicolás Maduro shows an increase in his positive image in the last months that stands at 31.1%, placing himself well above the opposition leaders such as Henry Ramos Allup, Henrique Capriles or Leopoldo López.

Although analysts of opposition tendency have tried to minimize the data of Venebarómetro, the certain thing is that if the comparison extends - in terms of acceptance or popularity towards other leaders of the region and the world - we find that Maduro is above Juan Manuel Santos (18%), Enrique Peña (22%), Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (23%) and Mariano Rajoy (29%). All rulers who to a greater or lesser extent have strong support from influential media and financial elites.
EVALUATION CHART
© VENEBAROMETRO
The rising curve of Maduro, according to the survey, has its turning point in the call for a National Constituent Assembly (ANC) held in May 2017, amid the violent protests called and led by the opposition that left hundreds of dead, injured and unquantifiable patrimonial damages to the nation.

In 2017, much of the unconventional war resources against Venezuela were concentrated in propaganda, dirty warfare (called "guarimbas") and the economy, in order to transfer the social and human costs of the financial sanctions agenda of the country. opposition and the United States towards the figure of Maduro.

Although this strategy persists and has induced inflation through Dolar Today one of its most harmful assets, a reading of the data shows that the population recognized in Maduro a factor of stability and political order to the detriment of the violence and chaos caused by anti-Chavez leaders.

The food security policies taken by the Venezuelan Government to face the increase in prices and the shortage of medicines (CLAP, 0800 health, salary increases and bonds channeled through the Carnet de la Patria), associated with the overwhelming electoral victory of chavism in the regional elections of October 15 and the collapse of the opposition, are also elements that influence the increase of positive perception of Maduro.

After the installation of the ANC the economy and the salary of the population have been placed under attack, as a form of political retaliation to the victories of Chavez in the electoral field. Although the situation translates into a logical discontent, what should be privileged in the data is the confidence of the most vulnerable population in the measures taken by President Maduro to reduce the impacts of the economic war.

Believe that the economy (only seen from the growth of GDP) the only factor that determines the positive image of a president, is to fall into a trap, because what is good for the economy is not always for the majority of the population. There are other social and psychological variables that influence how society represents their daily life, the situation of the country and the behavior of its rulers in function of it.

Although Colombia, Mexico, Peru or Spain do not have inflation problems and punctual shortages of medicines like Venezuela, the accumulation of social problems related to unemployment, drug trafficking and the privatization of social security, play against the popularity of their first agents.

The increase in Maduro's positive image also expresses the meaning that a good part of the population is giving to this complicated economic and social moment (induced by speculative factors), in which the president has positioned himself as the only response actor.

The flood does not stop for antichavism

Venebarómetro also indicates that Maduro leads the intention to vote (28.6%) for the presidential elections of 2018, in second place to Leopoldo López, today at home for prison proceeds of a processing benefit, third to Henrique Capriles and last to Henry Ramos Allup and Henri Falcón. The difference between Maduro and López is more than 10%.

Currently neither Leopoldo Lopez nor Henrique Capriles, the latter disabled by acts of corruption, can aspire to the presidency of the Republic, which would leave an unpopular Henry Ramos Allup (6.6% intention to vote) as the only valid ticket to face to Maduro in 2018, along with Henri Falcón who has almost the same intention to vote.

The conflicts and betrayals on both sides between Voluntad Popular (Lopez's party), Primero Justicia (party of Capriles) and Acción Democrática (party of Ramos Allup), after the swearing in of 4 Adecos governors before the ANC, threaten the possibility of an effective migration of votes to Henry Ramos Allup or Henri Falcón as a presidential candidate by the followers of Voluntad Popular and Primero Justicia. Therefore Nicolás Maduro would have high chances of being re-elected.

The unfulfilled promises about the violent exit of Maduro for 2017 and the permanent accusation towards "moderate" factors of the opposition for negotiating under ropes with the government, today result in a division that permeates the electoral base of anti-Chavez: a side of abstentionists and another of "collaborationists" (voters).

The headache of the primary

The followers of Voluntad Popular and Primero Justicia have an approved image of Nicolás Maduro and Henry Ramos Allup "as part of the same", so voting for the Democratic Action leader is just as bad as voting for Nicolás Maduro. An electoral scenario that further reinforces abstention and therefore increase the chances of victory of Chavism.
PRIMARIAS CHART
© VENEBAROMETRO
Conversely, the same thing happens: voting hypothetically for Henrique Capriles (twice defeated in presidential elections) or Leopoldo López embodies the rejection of those who feel cheated and betrayed for failing to get Maduro out of the presidency.

Different sectors of the opposition are pushing for the realization of internal primaries that dictate a unitary flag for the presidential. The relative echo that towards this proposal, just when the Dialogue Table negotiations take place, shows the little confidence among the leaders to subordinate themselves to a result in primaries adverse to their particular interests.

It is necessary to remember that during the internal primaries for the regional elections, the Primero Justicia, Un Nuevo Tiempo and Acción Democrática parties accused each other of committing electoral fraud and not recognizing results between beatings and armed intimidation. The current crisis of anti-Chavezism puts in the foreground that these wounds are still open and with the danger of deepening in a primaries for the presidential ones.

The Venebarómetro survey serves to illustrate the political and electoral conditions (both Chavism and opposition) with which the presidential elections will take place. To the increase of the positive image of Maduro, the unity of Chavismo is added as a factor of support, while the opposition disaster and the conflict between its leaders bring the chances of a new Maduro mandate from 2018 even closer.

We must not lose sight of the psychological factor and how a predictable victory by NUCAUT in the municipal elections of December 10 will contribute to this projection.