CARACAS, Venezuela – It's the final day of campaigning for Sunday's election to replace Hugo Chavez and the streets of Caracas are flooded with red-shirted backers of the man the recently deceased Venezuelan president tapped to succeed him.
Nicolas Maduro is favored to win the vote. The burly former bus driver had been Chavez's foreign minister and vows to carry on his mentor's socialist revolution.
But polls show Maduro's advantage narrowing as challenger Henrique Capriles hammers away at government deficiencies in managing the economy and fighting crime.
Venezuela is also plagued by food shortages, double-digit inflation and worsening power outages.
Many analysts believe that if the campaign were to held a few months from now Maduro would not have the 10-point lead the latest poll from the Datanalisis firm gives him over Capriles.