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Poll shows popularity boost for Hugo Chavez

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The battle that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is waging against cancer appears to be bearing political fruit, according to a new poll that shows his approval rating climbing to 58.9% among that nation’s voters in September.

Local survey firm Datanalisis said this week that those figures represent a 10% climb from his popularity in July and a breakout from the stagnation of the last two years that has held Chavez’ approval around 50%.

Datanalisis president Luis Vicente Leon attributed the boost in part to “information management”, by means of which Chavez has not only “avoided the traditional cost of illness”, but turned it to his advantage.  He said it reflects the successful “message of hope” the president has portrayed in his “battle for survival”.

Last month Chavez returned from Cuba and announced that he has finished chemotherapy, during which he lost 33 lbs along with most of his hair.

Leon said that 1,300 people were polled nationally between September 7th and Sept 29th.  The survey, sponsored by businesses and individuals he declined to name, had a 2.7% margin of error.