News / Americas

Landmark Brazil Poll Brings Good News for Rousseff

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff attends the wake of late Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos inside the Pernambuco Government Palace in Recife, Aug. 17, 2014.
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff attends the wake of late Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos inside the Pernambuco Government Palace in Recife, Aug. 17, 2014.
Reuters

Although a new poll shows Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff suddenly facing a tougher road to re-election, she also saw a sharp recovery in her approval ratings and resilient voter support through what will likely be the campaign's most emotional and volatile period.

The first poll since the death in a plane crash last week of Brazilian Socialist Party presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was released early Monday, showing Rousseff in a statistical dead heat in the event of a runoff against Campos' likely replacement, environmentalist Marina Silva.

Brazilian financial markets gained following the poll, which seemed to rule out any chance that Rousseff could avoid a runoff and win the election outright on October 5.

Most investors do not like Rousseff's left-leaning policies and markets have generally risen in recent months with each sign that she might not win a second term.

Yet there were several strong signs in Rousseff's favor within the nationwide survey by pollster Datafolha, and Brazil's currency and main stocks index gave up some of their early gains as investors looked closely at the poll numbers.

The percentage of voters who say Rousseff's government is “good” or “great” rose to 38 percent, up six percentage points from the previous Datafolha poll in July. Those who said it was “bad” or “terrible” dropped six points to 23 percent, while those rating it as “OK” was unchanged at 38 percent.

“As incredible as it may sound, the poll shows that Rousseff's approval ratings got a considerable boost. And that's actually a more important variable than voter intention at this stage,” said JoIao Augusto de Castro Neves, Latin America director at the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy.

“After several months of negative news for Rousseff,” he added, “there's finally some good news for her.”

Rousseff's approval ratings recovered during a period that saw inflation slow sharply.

Her term has been plagued by slow economic growth and prices rising at around 6 percent a year. Her opponents have consistently hammered her for being weak on inflation, but July saw a decline in air fares as well as food prices as the soccer World Cup, which Brazil hosted, drew to an end.

Datafolha began taking its most recent poll last Thursday, the day after Campos died in a plane crash.

Brazilian media have since then been full of praise for Campos, a business-friendly former governor who had been in third place in polls with about 8 percent support but was widely seen as one of Brazil's brightest young politicians and likely to mount a strong campaign for president in 2018.

Silva had been Campos' running mate but was much better known nationally, thanks to her high profile as an environmental activist and her strong third place finish as a presidential candidate in the last election in 2010, when she took about 20 percent of the vote.

Can Silva sustain the surge?

Some analysts had expected a stronger showing for Silva in the Datafolha poll following the emotion of Campos' death.

It showed Silva would win 21 percent of votes in first round of voting, just one percentage point ahead of the other main opposition candidate, centrist Senator Aecio Neves, but behind Rousseff, who had 36 percent.

Strikingly, support for Rousseff and Neves in a first round was exactly the same as in polls a month ago.

That means that Silva's growth of 13 percentage points compared to Campos came from voters who had previously said they were undecided or would spoil their ballots in protest, as opposed to her taking votes from the other two main contenders.

In a second round, which analysts say now looks almost certain, the Datafolha poll showed Silva with a 47-43 percent advantage over Rousseff, meaning they are technically tied since the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

Some analysts question whether Silva will be able to grow much in polls considering her coalition's relatively weak nationwide presence, comparatively small campaign funds and allotted time for free public TV advertising, as well as her past reputation for unpredictable decisions.

Some members of Campos' Brazilian Socialist Party also doubt Silva's commitment to the party platform, which could provoke some tensions on the campaign trail. Silva, who ran as the Green Party candidate in 2010, has sought to play down those concerns.

Silva tried to found a new party last year called the “Sustainability Network” but failed to register enough signatures in time for the 2014 election. Less than 48 hours later, she surprised the Brazilian political world by backing Campos, whose party platform differed greatly from hers.

Neves and his Brazilian Social Democracy Party have a much stronger nationwide base than the coalition backing a Silva candidacy. But the survey released Monday showed his support slipping in the event of a runoff, breaking a string of at least four polls where he had closed the gap on Rousseff.

The president leads Neves by a 47-39 percent margin in a runoff between them, Datafolha said. The pollsters interviewed 2,843 people in 176 cities on Thursday and Friday.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Venezuela Troops Occupy Polar Food Distribution Warehouses

Move follows months of accusations by President Nicolas Maduro that Polar, country's largest private employer, working to sabotage the economy
More

Brazil Nuclear Leader's Arrest May Stymie Atomic Ambitions

Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva arrested Tuesday for allegedly taking 4.5 million reais in bribes from engineering firms working on long-delayed Angra 3 power plant
More

Chileans Spooked by Crime, Demand Government Action

Hundreds took to streets of affluent Santiago neighborhoods Wednesday to protest what they say is explosion in crime in one of South America's safest nations
More

Bright Colors, Patterns Prevail at Colombiamoda Fashion Shows

Designers and brands show off a plethora of creations on catwalks in Medellin this week
More

Report: Rio's Filthy Waters Far From Ready for Olympics

An AP investigation found extremely high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues for swimming and boating
More

Peru Forces Raid Coca Region Rebel Slave Camp

Special forces rescue 26 children, 13 women, some of whom had been held captive for three decades, when they raided jungle camp of Shining Path rebels
More