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Economic Pessimism Makes Rousseff Fall 6%

04/07/2014 - 11h43

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RICARDO MENDONÇA
FROM SAO PAULO

In an environment dominated by growing pessimism regarding the economy and a strong desire for change, President Rousseff's vote intentions in the main election scenario have declined 6% since the end of February.

In spite of that, her main adversaries, Aécio Neves (PSDB) and Eduardo Campos (PSB), have failed to rise.

The Datafoha survey held on April 2 and 3 shows that Rousseff would be reelected in the first round with 38% of the votes. Neves would have 16%, and Campos, 10%. The candidates of smaller parties added up to 6%.

In the five scenarios tested, the only candidate who could reach the second round against Rousseff would be former senator Marina Silva (PSB), with 27% of the votes –4% more than in February. Silva would be 12% behind Rousseff.

The only candidate who could surpass Rousseff is former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, her main canvasser. Lula, who often says he isn't interested in joining the dispute this year, shows a small declining tendency in comparison with previous surveys, but still leads with a great difference in all scenarios.

Plunging expectations regarding inflation, employment and salary purchase power also explain the fall in the government's approval.

This study also detected a major hike in frustration regarding Rousseff's accomplishments. Today, 63% of Brazilians say she did less than they expected for the country. A little more than a year ago, that number was 34%.

CHANGE

The survey also identified a high and growing desire for change. Now, 72% say they want the next president's actions to be different from those of Rousseff.

The figures are similar to those of 2002, under the Fernando Henrique Cardoso administration, when then-opposition candidate Lula won his first election.

The problem is that voters don't see Neves and Campos as the most prepared to carry out changes.

Lula is the most capable of making changes, say 32%. For 17%, it is Silva. Neves, the opposition's main leader in the Senate, is cited by only 13%. Campos has 7%. Even Rousseff has a better result – 16%.

The scenario with Rousseff, Neves, Campos and smaller parties shows great regional differences. In the Northeast, Rousseff reaches 54%.In the Southeast, she has 29%. In two segments, Neves leads the dispute, with Rousseff in second place.

It occurs among people with family incomes over ten times the minimum wage (34% for Neves against Rousseff's 20%) and among voters with a college education (25% against 22%).

At this point of the dispute, the former governor of Pernambuco, Eduardo Campos, has a disadvantage that, from the point of view of publicity, still can be seen as an advantage. He is the least know candidate: 42% say they don't know him.

If that makes his vote intentions small today, he also is seen in the political arena as the candidate with the highest potential for growth. With resources and some TV time, making someone known is easier than fixing the scratched image of someone already known.

Datafolha interviewed 2,637 people in 162 cities. The study has a 2% margin of error. It is registered in the Election Court under the code BR 00064/2014.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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