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September 26, 2017

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Venezuela's Chavez holds 10-point lead over Capriles

CARACAS -- President Hugo Chavez has a 10-point lead over challenger Henrique Capriles ahead of Venezuela's Oct. 7 presidential vote but a potentially decisive number of voters are undecided, a poll showed Tuesday.

The veteran leftist leader, in power since 1999, is favored by 49.4 percent of voters while 39 percent back the opposition candidate, according to the polling firm Datanalisis.

But 11.6 percent of voters have not yet decided how to vote while Capriles has cut the gap by half, from 20.4 points back in May, the poll showed.

"The only candidate who has moved up is Capriles," said Datanalisis president Luis Vicente Leon, adding that all scenarios "are open" in the election.

Leon said undecided voters hold the key to the election battle between 58-year-old socialist Chavez and center-left Capriles, a 40-year-old former state governor.

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