On September 13, the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (VSC) headlined "One month before Venezuela's Presidential election, polls show huge leads for Hugo Chavez," saying:
At this time, he looks unbeatable. Capriles is way behind. "There is little evidence to support the claims by the opposition that 'undecided voters' could still determine the situation."
Capriles' spin about polls shifting his way doesn't wash. According to VSC:
"Comparing those pollsters that undertook polls published in both July and August, there is no uniform pattern of the lead narrowing."
"More importantly, even where there has been a slight narrowing - which on average was by just 1% - this is insignificant given Hugo ChÃ¡vez's huge lead."
VSC's Lee Brown added:
"Hugo ChÃ¡vez clearly has a convincing lead according to the overwhelming majority of pollsters."
"The evidence from looking at the full range of polls, rather than cherry picking, does not back up the claims of the campaign of Henrique Capriles Radonski that the race is close or that Capriles is ahead."- Advertisement -
"Nor is there any evidence that Capriles is making any real inroads into ChÃ¡vez's lead as they've also claimed."
"Hopefully these statements from the right-wing opposition are just the kind of things that get said in the cut and thrust of a campaign."
"But the bigger worry is that it's part of an orchestrated claim by the opposition to give the impression of an impending victory and then to claim fraud on 7 October should they lose, as the polls suggest is very likely."
An earlier article highlighted the possibility. In late August, Chavez warned about opposition forces planning to declare victory before electoral results are announced. They'll say they won, reject official National Electoral Council (CNE) results, and claim fraud.
Perhaps violence and other destabilizing disruptions will follow. They're capable of anything, said Chavez. He's seen plenty since taking office in February 1999. He stayed there because Venezuelans want him.
Each time he ran he won impressively. It's no surprise. On October 7, he'll do it again for another six-year term. Expect dark opposition forces to cry foul. It never washed before and won't now.
Venezuela's elections are closely monitored. Independent observers agree. The process is open, free and fair.