Rousseff Takes Lead in MDA Poll as Brazilian Vote Nears

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has pulled out ahead and would win next month’s election against former Environment Minister Marina Silva in an MDA poll.

Rousseff has 47.7 percent support against 38.7 percent for Silva in a probable runoff election, according to the Sept. 27-28 poll published yesterday by the National Transport Confederation that has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. Rousseff had 42 percent against Silva’s 41 percent in the previous poll, conducted Sept. 20-21.

While Silva initially captured support from voters dissatisfied with above-target inflation and a slowing economy, her challengers have attacked her proposals as contradictory and questioned her ability to form a majority in Congress. The Ibovespa plunged the most among major stock indexes yesterday and the real slumped to a 13-month low as Rousseff’s chance of winning a second four-year-term increased.

“Dilma’s the favorite again,” Andre Pereira Cesar, director of public policy and business strategy consulting company Prospectiva, said by telephone from Brasilia yesterday. “Marina has been unable to respond to criticism and will have to reshape her campaign.”

The Ibovespa fell 4.5 percent and the real depreciated 1.1 percent to 2.4477 per U.S. dollar.

Last Debate

The main candidates on Oct. 2 will face each other on Globo TV in the last debate before the first-round election Oct. 5. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, or more than all other candidates combined, a runoff will take place Oct. 26.

Rousseff has 40.4 percent support in the first round, against Silva with 25.2 percent and former Minas Gerais Governor Aecio Neves with 19.8 percent, according to yesterday’s MDA poll of 2,002 people.

In a Vox Populi poll released by Record TV last night, the incumbent would have 46 percent of the vote in a runoff versus 39 percent for Silva. The Sept. 27-28 survey of 2,000 people has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. A previous Vox Populi poll released by Carta Capital on Sept. 25 showed the two in a statistical tie.

It’s too early to write off Silva’s campaign in what will continue to be a tight race, said Joao Augusto de Castro Neves, an analyst with the Eurasia Group, a New York-based political risk consulting company.

“It’s now a game of mistakes, and if Dilma slips in, say a TV debate, Marina could bounce back,” he said.

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