Venezuela: Chavez with 22 Point Lead in Poll
International Herald Tribune
CARACAS, Venezuela: With less than a month until the Venezuelan presidential vote, President Hugo Chavez has a 22-point lead over his leading rival, according to a poll commissioned by the state oil company and released Tuesday.
U.S.-based pollster Evans/McDonough Company and Venezuelan company Consultores 30.11 found 57-percent support for Chavez versus 35 percent for challenger Manuel Rosales in what the they said was the largest Venezuelan election poll this year.
Chavez, upon hearing of the results, predicted a "big victory" and said the backing comes in spite of an opposition media campaign to confuse Venezuelans.
The poll indicated that Venezuelans' perceptions of how the country is faring have changed little since they voted overwhelmingly to keep Chavez in power two years ago in a recall referendum, according to the pollsters.
The poll found that 53 percent said they had a positive perception of Chavez's government, while 37 percent said they had a negative perception and the remainder said neither.
Chavez expressed concern that more than a third were negative about his administration, saying, "we still have a lot of work to do."
Asked about Chavez's proposal to construct a socialist state in Venezuela, 43 percent said they either agreed or strongly agreed, while 38 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed...