In the few conversations I've had so far of those who follow this closely, however, they are still cautious about how this will all turn out:
- One cannot underestimate the capacity of the government to get out the vote for their position, as they've done in the past. Current estimates of 60% participation (those who will "definitely" vote) are still much lower than the December 2006 presidential elections, which had 74% participation with Chavez getting 7.4 million votes (about half of all eligible voters). The opposition has a lot of energy behind it, but no systematic get-out-the-vote campaign. The polls indicate that any additions of newly decided voters will tilt the current toss-up towards the NO, but just how many people will turn out remains to be seen.
- The opposition is more prepared and organized to monitor and defend the results of the referendum than they have been in the past, but -- I'm not sure this extends to rural areas, which is where the government will be able to mobilize people overwhelmingly. One person mentioned voting tables that had gone 100% for Chavez in the past (indicating either a capacity for mobilization or an unfettered capacity for tinkering with the numbers in these areas.)
- One person mentioned that there is often a secret vote for Chavez among middle and upper-middle class voters, who essentially vote their pocketbook (since they're doing quite well). I haven't heard of anyone who's really studied voting patterns, but this should be easily verifiable after the fact.