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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Polls Shows Challenger Gaining Ground in Brazil Presidential Race

BRASILIA – Support for President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil’s Oct. 5 elections dropped a percentage point to 37 percent, while voter preference for leading challenger Aecio Neves jumped from 16 percent to 20 percent, according to results of a survey published Friday.

The poll was taken by the Datafolha Institute and confirms the trend reflected in other surveys released over the past month, according to which voter preference for Rousseff has waned slowly but consistently, just as support for Neves has grown.

Even so, the 37 percent voter preference attributed to the incumbent remains very close to the projected 38 percent for the other three possible candidates put together.

The result of the Datafolha poll also indicates that a runoff may be needed to settle the presidential contest.

Datafolha also asked who would be the ideal candidate for the upcoming elections and 58 percent of those consulted leaned toward Rousseff’s predecessor and political mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who governed from 2003-2011.

Recent weeks have seen sectors within the governing Workers Party expressing themselves in favor of a possible return of Lula.

These sectors, however, were rapidly placated by the party leadership, which, at a national conference held a week ago and attended by Rousseff and Lula, confirmed that the current president will be its “only candidate” on this year’s ballot.

Datafolha said the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent and was taken May 7-8 among 2,844 registered voters in 174 cities.

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