Caracas - Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded the late Hugo Chavez as Venezuela's interim president, has an 18 point lead over the opposition's Henrique Capriles ahead of mid-April elections, a polling firm said on Tuesday.
The private Venezuelan pollster Hinterlaces said 53% of Venezuelans would vote for Maduro - Chavez's vice president and hand-picked successor - while 35% would vote for Capriles.
That's an even bigger lead for Maduro than in the last poll, published weeks before Chavez lost his two-year battle with cancer.
In that survey half of those questioned indicated they would vote for Maduro, compared to 36% for Capriles.
The youthful Capriles, governor of Miranda state, lost to Chavez in an October presidential election by 11 points - a wide margin, but the best showing ever against the leftist leader.
On 14 April, he will take on Maduro in snap elections called to replace Chavez.
Campaigning officially begins on 2 April, but the candidates have already begun courting votes in a highly confrontational pre-campaign.