Gino Caso, an auto mechanic, said he would vote for Capriles because he thought Chavez was power-hungry and out of touch with problems such as crime. He said his son had been robbed, as had neighboring shops.
"I don't know what planet he lives on," Caso said, gesturing with hands blackened with grease. "He wants to be like Fidel Castro — end up with everything, take control of the country."
Political analyst Ricardo Sucre said he expected the election to show "two halves, more or less even." Regardless of the result, he said, Venezuelans are likely to remain deeply divided by politics for years to come.
Associated Press writers Frank Bajak, Christopher Toothaker, Jorge Rueda and Vivian Sequera contributed to this report.
Ian James on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ianjamesap
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