Election day in Venezuela: Will the Chavistas steal the election?

Acting President Nicolas Maduro holds a comfortable lead in most pre-election polls, although late polls have challenger Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles closing the gap slightly. But as we all know, polling in an oppressed society is an iffy proposition. People responding to questions don't really know if they declare for the challenger if that information won't get back to the authorities. So any poll taken in Venezuela should be viewed as suspect. Nevertheless, Maduro has enormous advantages, including a state media monopoly, and cadres of Chavista thugs who may "monitor" the election to make sure people vote "properly." Will there be a surprise surge by Capriles? And if there is, will the state electoral machinery shift into high gear and steal the contest for Maduro? Reuters: Maduro, a 50-year-old former bus driver who has trumpeted his working-class roots at every rally, is promising to push forward Chavez's "21st century socialism" if he triumphs. "We're going...(Read Full Post)