Quico says: Check out this impressive overview of the Poll Wars by Phil Gunson in the Miami Herald.
Polls offer vastly different predictions for Venezuela’s presidential election Sunday.
CARACAS – With less than a week to go before Venezuela’s presidential election, supporters of both President Hugo Chávez and his main rival, Manuel Rosales, are confident of victory — thanks in part to an opinion-poll war in which the truth appears to have been the first casualty.
”I’ve worked a lot in elections, in different countries,” said Carolina Bescansa, a political science professor from the Complutense University in Madrid. “But I’ve never seen anything like this.”
There are polls to suit all tastes and political tendencies, ranging from those that project a Chávez victory by more than 30 points in the Sunday balloting to a dubious few that give a clear margin to Rosales, the candidate of a broad opposition coalition.
With both the pro-government and pro-opposition media stressing polls that show their favorites ahead and dismissing other surveys as lies and manipulations, neutral voters have been confused and committed voters have become convinced that only fraud can deprive their man of victory.