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Venezuela’s Capriles May Close Gap on Chavez in Polls, Leon Says

March 29, 2012

Venezuela’s opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski may close the 13 percentage-point gap in a Datanalisis poll against President Hugo Chavez in the coming months ahead of presidential elections in October, Luis Vicente Leon, president of the Caracas-based polling company said today in Caracas.

Datanalisis’ latest poll taken between Feb. 29 and March 7 showed that 44.7 percent of those surveyed plan to vote for Chavez, 31.4 percent for Capriles, and 25 percent were undecided, Leon said today. The poll has a margin of error of 2.72 percentage points, he said.

Datanalisis will publish their next public opinion poll in June, Leon said.

“It’s normal for a group of people surveyed to say that they’re going to wait to decide at the beginning of an electoral process. A large number of those undecided were in Zulia state, which is the state with the largest number of voters after the Caracas metropolitan area.

“Those undecided in Zulia are an opportunity for Capriles to grow since they’ll likely vote for him rather than Chavez. Now some are undecided after their candidate Pablo Perez lost in the primary vote.

“The gap between Capriles and Chavez can narrow as a group of undecided voters will prefer Capriles and because the initial solidarity with Chavez over his illness will diminish.

“Chavez’s strengths are that he has money, a powerful institutional backing, but he’s sick and his campaign is a virtual one. His challenge is to convince people that he can rule for another six years.

“Capriles’ strengths are that he’s young, healthy and represents the future but doesn’t have as many resources, and the challenge is to guarantee to voters that if he wins he won’t abolish the social programs and that there won’t be chaos.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Corina Pons in Caracas at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at

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