Temer Draws More Brazil Support Than Predecessor, Poll Shows

  • Temer has better ratings than those of suspended president
  • Majority of Brazilians say impeachment process is legitimate

Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer fares better than his deeply unpopular predecessor, according to the first public opinion survey since Dilma Rousseff was suspended for an impeachment trial.

Temer’s personal approval rating is 33.8 percent, according to a June 2-5 survey of 2,002 people conducted by MDA polling company and commissioned by the country’s National Transport Confederation. This compares to a 21.8 percent approval rating for Rousseff in February.

Brazil’s largest-ever corruption investigation, know as Carwash, encroached on members of the government and the ruling party during the first month of Temer’s interim administration. Two of his most important cabinet members stepped down in quick succession after leaked audio of private conversations suggested they tried to interfere with the investigation that is supported by most Brazilians.

"It’s not a bad number after all those setbacks," said Ricardo Ribeiro, political analyst with MCM consulting firm in Sao Paulo. "In this economic and political situation, you can’t expect any president to be popular."

Brazil’s real rallied for the sixth consecutive day and the Bovespa stock exchange jumped 1.9 percent on improved prospects for exports to China and recent advances on the government’s legislative agenda in Congress.

Public opinion is key to Temer’s ability to consolidate power and win approval for the reforms needed to control government spending and pull Latin America’s largest economy out of recession. Rousseff’s near record-low approval ratings weakened her support in Congress and helped fuel calls for her ouster.

The survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, showed that 61.5 percent of those polled consider the impeachment process against Rousseff as legitimate. Temer’s government is rated as good or great by 11.3 percent, as regular by 30.2 percent and as bad or very bad by 28 percent. This compares to 11.4 percent who gave Rousseff’s government a positive rating, 25.2 percent that said it was regular and 62.4 percent that said it was bad in a February poll.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.