Media release: Campaigners remind media not to fall for fake Venezuelan exit polls again 7 October

7 October 2012 — Venezuela Solidarity Campaign

With the Venezuela’s presidential election underway, the British based Venezuela Solidarity Campaign has reminded the media that journalists have previously been embarrassed by the use of fake ‘exit polls’.
 
These exit polls have originated from those opposed to the government of Hugo Chávez, been completely inaccurate and have misled journalists covering past elections.
 
Reports from Venezuela suggest exit polls aligned to the right-wing coalition hoping to replace Hugo Chávez will be published around 8pm GMT.
 
Dr Francisco Dominguez, Secretary of the VSC said
Fake exit polls are one way in which opponents of the current government have previously tried to discredit the results of elections where Hugo Chávez has won clear majorities.
 
Journalists who have reported these polls believing them to be credible have later been embarrassed to have found themselves exploited for political motives. None more so than the infamous case of 2004.
 
Given that polling is not permitted on election day in Venezuela, any such polls should be treated skeptically and as part of a propaganda war.
 
Notes to editors
1. The recall referendum of 2004 offers insight into how fake exit polls are used. Then, Chavez won massively by 59:41% with the Carter Centre confirming these results as accurate.Yet hours before the official results came through the united right-wing coalition commissioned an exit poll from US firm Penn, Schoen & Berland which declared in a press release to the world’s media:
“Exit poll results show major defeat for Chavez.”
(See the original http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/penn_shoen_berland_release.pdf)
This so-called poll used volunteers from Sumate, an anti-Chavez NGO close to George W Bush and which received funding from the US administration. This fake exit poll was clearly designed to discredit the subsequent official result.
 
2. One lead proponent of the theory of fraud in 2004 election, Ricardo Haussmann, has been drafted in to advise the current presidential campaign of Henrique Capriles Radonski and he has said it will release its own results on Sunday ahead of the official ones
 
3.  Dr Francisco Dominguez is available for media coment. Contact 07773 666 902 to arrange.

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