Exit Polls Give Chavez Victory

Opposition doubts early results as supporters party in the streets
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2007 8:06 PM CST
In this photo released by Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez shows his ballot before voting during a referendum in Caracas, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007. (AP Photo/Miraflores Press Office)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Chavez supporters waved flags in the streets today as exit polls showed him winning a referendum by six to eight points, Reuters reports. Anti-Chavez forces rejected the numbers, leaked by government-connected sources. "According to our information, it is a statistical tie," said the popular mayor of Caracas. He called the difference "two points up, two points down."

The polls put the pro-Chavez vote at 53-54% and opposition at 46-47%. Pre-vote surveys called the ballot a dead heat, but students and political parties who oppose Chavez have lost most votes against him and botched a coup five years ago. Analysts predict the opposition may contest today's results and spark violence in the streets. "(The vote) will deepen divisions and polarization," one student said.