José Serra still has a chance. The presidential candidate of Brazil's center-right alliance in October's election has seen his support jump by six points, to 19%, in a recent poll, putting him in a dead heat with populist Labor Front candidate Ciro Gomes, whose rating slipped from 27% to 20%. Both trail Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, of the leftist Workers Party, by more than 15 points. Serra's jump in popularity, partly due to TV ads attacking Gomes, boosts his chance of making it into the election's likely second round. That prospect has steadied Brazil's markets, since Serra is the candidate most expected to continue President Fernando Henrique Cardoso's policies.
Edited by Rose Brady