Venezuela's Chavez leads rival in latest poll

March 27, 2012 18:21


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CARACAS - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has a solid 13-percentage point lead over opposition candidate Henrique Capriles in a new survey ahead of October's election but many Venezuelans remain undecided.

The opinion poll by respected local firm Datanalisis found that 44 percent of voters favor Chavez compared to 31 percent for Democratic Unity coalition candidate Capriles, according to people who saw a private presentation.

No further details were available for the poll, which was to be formally published later in the week.

Chavez, 57, who is undergoing radiation therapy in Cuba after cancer surgery, remains popular into his 14th year in power due to his strong personal connection with the poor and heavy, oil-financed spending on welfare policies.

Surveys consistently show that up to a third of Venezuelans are undecided, indicating there will be a fierce battle between Chavez's and Capriles' camps to win them over on Oct. 7.

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