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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Video Rapprochement Opens New, Uncertain Chapter in US-Cuba Relations

Change is result of months of secret negotiations that culminated in December with decision to resume ties, but critics say nothing has changed in Cuba’s human rights record
More

Pirates and Hold-ups: Crime Strikes Venezuela's Oil Industry

National crime pandemic is a growing headache for the oil industry, which accounts for nearly all of the country's export revenues
More

US Defense Secretary: 'No Anticipation' of Giving Up Base in Cuba

Havana says normalization of relations will require surrendering base US has leased since 1903
More

Mexico Supreme Court Judge Urges States to Legalize Gay Marriage

Court ruled in decision published on June 19 that laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman were unconstitutional
More

Global Chatter Greets US-Cuba Announcement

Reactions range from move ‘incentivizing a police state’ and ‘caving to Castro’ on the one hand, to ‘necessary step’ and ‘new era of possibility’ on the other
More

Video Before Obama, a Long History of Attempted US-Cuba Detente

Despite more than half a century of official animosity, secretive attempts to broker something like this week's rapprochement have failed
More