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Female Socialist Leads Chile's Presidential Race

The latest public opinion polls in Chile shows socialist Michelle Bachelet still leads the presidential race and stands a good chance of becoming the nation's first female president.

A poll released Tuesday showed Ms. Bachelet's support among registered voters has dropped from 45 to 39 percent in the past two months, but she is still well ahead of her competitors.

Conservative candidate Sebastian Pinera mustered support from 22 percent of those polled. Another conservative, Joaquin Lavin, took 21 percent, while leftist Tomas Hirsch garnered only 3 percent.

If one candidate does not get more than half the votes in December's election, a runoff will be held in January. Today's results, taken from a survey of some 15-hundred registered voters, predict Ms. Bachelet would win in a runoff with either of her closest competitors.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP.