Rousseff’s Lead in Brazil Presidential Race Narrows in Poll

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s lead before the Oct. 5 election narrowed as her main opponent gained support, according to a Vox Populi poll published today.

Rousseff maintained her support at 40 percent, according to the survey commissioned by Carta Capital magazine. Senator Aecio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party tallied 21 percent, up from 16 percent in April. Rousseff would have enough support to avoid a run-off election on Oct. 26, the survey with a 2.1 percentage points margin of error showed. It interviewed 2,200 people between May 30 and June 1.

The poll follows a separate survey by polling firm Ibope published yesterday that showed more respondents thought Rousseff was doing a bad job than a good one. Rousseff’s government was rated good or great by 31 percent. That survey prompted Nomura Holdings Inc. to forecast today a 60 percent chance that Rousseff will lose her re-election bid.

“We still expect further damage to her standing given deterioration in the economy and rising inflation,” Nomura said in the report, which was signed by Tony Volpon and George Lei. “A strong commitment to changes in economic policies would improve her re-election probabilities. Yet, so far, there has been no indication that such changes are under consideration.”

Very Difficult

The Ibope survey showed Rousseff’s re-election support at 38 percent, down from 40 percent in a previous poll released on May 22. Voting intentions below 40 percent make winning a second round very difficult, according to the Nomura report.

Support for Neves increased to 22 percent from 20 percent during the same period, while backing for former state governor Eduardo Campos rose to 13 percent from 11 percent. To win the Oct. 5 first round, a candidate must have more than 50 percent of the vote, or more votes than all other contenders combined. Rousseff’s personal approval rating fell to 44 percent from 47 percent, while the percentage of respondents who disapprove of her rose to 51 percent from 48 percent, the Ibope poll showed.

The survey was commissioned by UVESP, an association of Sao Paulo neighborhood councilmen, and published on the group’s website. It interviewed 2,002 people June 4-7 and had a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

Annual inflation in May accelerated to 6.37 percent from 6.28 percent the month prior, marking the fastest pace since last June. Brazil’s central bank targets annual inflation at 4.5 percent, plus or minus two percentage points.

Brazil’s economy during the first three months of the year expanded by 0.2 percent, half the pace of the previous quarter as investments and family spending dropped.

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