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May 18 (Bloomberg) -- Brazilian presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff has a 60 percent to 70 percent chance of winning October elections, research company Eurasia Group said.

Rousseff will benefit from President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s endorsement and her pledge to continue his economic policies, Christopher Garman, the Eurasia Group’s director for Latin America, wrote today in a report.

“The most important factor in this year’s election, which is often underappreciated by pundits, is the simple desire for continuity among voters,” Garman said. “This is Rousseff’s election to lose.”

The fastest economic expansion in more than two decades this year and the growth of the middle class under Lula will create support for Rousseff, Garman said. Rousseff, who served as Lula’s chief of staff and had previously never run for public office, erased a lead by opposition party candidate Jose Serra in a Sensus poll released yesterday.

Serra’s attempt to cast himself as representing continuity is a “tough sell” for an opposition candidate, Garman said.

Rousseff was supported by 41.8 percent of those surveyed by Sensus about their preferences should the candidates face off in a runoff election, while Serra, a member of the Social Democracy Party, had 40.5 percent backing. The May 10 to May 14 survey of 2,000 people has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.

Brazil’s first-round vote is scheduled for Oct. 3. Should none of the candidates get more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round, a runoff election between the top two vote getters will take place Oct. 31.

Latin America’s biggest economy will grow 6.3 percent this year, the fastest pace since 1986, according to the median estimate of 100 analysts surveyed by the central bank.

The real weakened 1 percent to 1.8182 per dollar at 3:40 p.m. New York time from 1.8006 yesterday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andre Soliani in Brasilia at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at

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