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What on earth is the Associated Press doing in Venezuela's elections?

By Per Kurowski

29.11.06 | Associated Press released “Chavez holds strong election lead: AP-Ipsos Poll”, on Fri. Nov. 24 2006. The story comments on a survey carried out “by the polling firm Ipsos for The Associated Press”. Given that the extensive survey includes many incredibly detailed questions about government programs of Chavez in Venezuela which does not seem to warrant such an intensive effort by AP, we believe this poll was ordered and paid for by the Venezuelan government and that frankly AP has misstated its role in it.

Since one of the most important factors for interpreting any survey is to be particular one is being used by the Chavez campaign to communicate loudly about a substantial lead of Chavez in the upcoming elections on December 3 in Venezuela, the issue of who ordered is especially relevant.

Besides since the survey also shows that most of the respondents do not believe in the transparency of the electoral system and are concerned that people could face reprisals for how they vote, meaning that many might not want to tell an interviewer they support the opposition candidate, the survey itself should have been handled with a ten foot-pole, before putting any weight of AP behind it.

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