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Latest Poll by Universidad Central de Venezuela: Chavez will be recalled in any scenario

By OAI Press

OAI Press.- Caracas, August 12, 2004 - Antonio París, President of the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), Venezuela’s foremost public University, stated that according to the latest poll conducted by a qualified team made up of teaching staff, Venezuela’s current President, Hugo Chávez Frías, will be without a doubt separated from his office in the coming Recall Referendum on August 15th.

In the wake of recent battles between contradicting polls, most of which reflected a slim margin between the options for YES Chavez leaving office and NO against Chavez leaving office, UCV’s results reveal that even in the most pessimistic scenario, victory would belong to the recall-supporting YES voters. The survey was conducted by UCV’s Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences (FACES), and was designed and managed by four in-campus statistics experts and their students.

The results obtained by the poll are highly reliable, due to the rigorous technical and objective criteria to which it adheres. Any person or institutions, national or international, which were to use the same standards and procedures would quickly come to the same conclusion: President Chavez will be revoked.

París stated that the poll was conducted with a 3% margin of error, and its results are 90% reliable. The methodology employed was based on a segmented and proportional sample selection from broad geographic regions, narrowing them down to counties, cities and urban city blocks, finally interviewing individuals living or working in each of these urban blocks. UCV’s survey was drawn from a sample of 1200 people of voting age residing in all of the country’s regions, counties and cities as stated above. The survey was then divided in 3 scenarios Worst, Probable and Best Case scenarios according to the number of voters participating in the presidential recall referendum.

With regards to projected voters’ intentions, the most optimistic scenario for the YES voters reflects 54% in favor of Chavez leaving office, and 40% against his recall, having a significant difference of 14%. A more subdued scenario, which the University believes will be the one to play out in the coming referendum, gives the YES voters 51% of total votes vs. 43% for the NO proponents, creating an 8% margin in favor of the YES option. The most pessimistic of the possible scenarios for the opposition, predicts 48% in favor of Chavez leaving office, and 46% against Chavez’s removal from office, which would mean a close victory for the opposition by a scant 2%.

To be more precise, París explained that in the case that 10 million voters decided to participate, which represents 75% of the voting population, the opposition in a worst-case scenario would net a total of 5,053,000 votes, while the probable numbers should be around 5,639,000 votes. With this amount of support, the recall referendum would oust Chavez from office. Paris commented that “we must remember that the required votes for the recall’s success are 3,657,773.”

In the event that 11 million voters take part in the referendum, which would represent 83% of the voting population, the estimates would change as follows: in the worst-case scenario the opposition would obtain 5,592,000 votes, in the most probable scenario, it could rack up 5,942,000 votes and best-case scenario projections would push the number of votes over 6,249,000. Paris then posed the hypothetical scenario of 0 abstention, meaning that the total universe of 14 million voters decide to participate, the results would be for the YES advocates: a worst-case scenario of 6,700,000, in the most probable scenario we’d see 7,150,000, while the best case scenario would be well over 7,500,000 YES votes, which emphasizes in a more eloquent way that Chavez is definitely out of the Presidential office of the Republic.

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