November 24, 2008

Approval for the New Constitution

MABB © ®

Angus Reid has a poll that asks if Bolivians approve the new constitution.

The majority of people in Bolivia agree with the revised version of a new Constitution, according to a poll by Equipos MORI. 56% of respondents support the changes to the new charter agreed upon by government officials and members of the opposition.
The data can be found here.

The above graph is from La Prensa and presents a more condensed situation. Perhaps more to the reality. As you can see the black bars represent approval of the constitution and the white bars represent disapproval. In Santa Cruz, Trinidad, Tarija and Sucre, the people will not accept the new document as the new constitution. While, clearly, La Paz, El Alto, Oruro and Potosi will vote to accept the new constitution. The battle-ground is (to use an American elections term) Cochabamba. Three percentage points separates the yes from the no, in favor of the yes.

According to the simple average I took based on the above data, the constitution has an approval rate of 43%, while 39% of the people disapproves of it. This is a significantly different number from the number I quoted from Angus Reid above. I don't know whether they use a different source, but it seems they base their numbers on the same Mori survey.

One more thing to observe is the percentage of undecided, the gray bar. According to the numbers above around 19% of the electorate are not sure they'll support the new constitution. What is more interesting is that in the departments where the no-vote is higher, the undecided seem to be higher. In the departments where the yes-vote is higher there seems to be less undecided, with perhaps the exception of La Paz, where the undecided vote makes 33%.

One thing seems to be clear, if the vote would be now, it looks like the new constitution would be approved. The campaigns have started and it seems it will be a hard fought battle. I expect the government to continue bombarding people with adds through radio and TV. Likewise, I expect the opposition to do the same, but at a more local level. In the end, I think the difference will be that the government has a national strategy and the opposition doesn't. If the opposition will coordinate at a national level perhaps it will have a chance. That is, provided they have the same funds the government will have at its disposal.