17 February 2006

North American Opinion Research: Hugo Chavez's favourite pollster

London 15.02.06 | With the backing of figures provided by pollster North American Opinion Research (NAOR), Venezuela's national electoral council's (CNE) boss Jorge Rodriguez claimed in state media recently that, the organization he chairs, enjoys a healthy 78% of support amongst Venezuelans. According to Rodriguez the increment is due to the effort made by the CNE to guarantee electoral transparency. He ventured into predicting that the level of support could well reach 85% in the run up to the presidential race in December this year. What Rodriguez did not mention is that the last tax filling by NAOR was made in 2000, neither did he care to inform Venezuelans that the Delaware-based pollster dissolved in 2002. Great effort by Jorge Rodriguez to regain credibility...

But this isn't the first instance whereby Chavez's yesmen or his media use NAOR to back their claims. As Francisco Toro aptly noted a while ago, Hugo Chavez and leeching sycophants love "Shredding their own credibility for fun."

In the run up to the recall referendum of August 15 2004, pearls of wisdom, such as the following, could be read in anglophone media outlets:

The North American Opinion Research firm, based in the U.S. state of Delaware, which surveyed people in all of Venezuela's 24 states, found that 60 percent said they would vote in favour of Chávez, while 35 percent said they would vote to revoke his mandate and five percent remained undecided or did not answer.

That is to say, two years after having been dissolved this, most trustworthy pollster, predicted with great accuracy, the results that Chavez obtained, according to Jorge Rodriguez, in the referendum.


Spanish news agency EFE has released an article echoing, yet again, the figures allegedly provided by the North American Opinion Research Inc. Interestingly the firm is now quoted as being based in Pennsylvania. A search in the Pennsylvania register of companies returned no results. It goes to show that sloppy journalism seems to be the norm nowadays.