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

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    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.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Verdict in Trial of Brazil's Rousseff Due after Olympics, O Globo Newspaper Reports

    First Olympic Games to be held in South America are due to open Aug. 5 amid political turmoil, concern about the Zika virus and Brazil's deepest recession since the 1930s

    US Indicts 6 Honduran Policemen on Drug Trafficking Charges

    Officers accused of conspiring with son of a former Honduran president to smuggle cocaine into US

    El Chapo's Extradition to US Suspended

    Mexican judge rules that more of defense's arguments must be heard before drug lord is sent to US for trial

    Obama Blasts Trump Rhetoric as ‘Nativism, Xenophobia or Worse’

    Along with North American leaders, president strongly defends free trade, rejects protectionist campaign rhetoric by Republican presidential candidate

    Chile Seeks to Fight Obesity With New Food Labeling Law

    South American country has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the world

    US Media Scrutinize Wave of Chinese Migrants Illegally Crossing From Mexico

    Reports show US officials caught 663 Chinese nationals illegally crossing from Mexico into San Diego, California, from last October through May