The Path to Venezuela’s “Surprise” Election

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

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.