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Datafolha Poll Shows Silva Campaign Losing Momentum; Rousseff Extends Her Advantage

09/19/2014 - 11h25

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RICARDO MENDONÇA
DE SÃO PAULO

With Marina Silva's (PSB) political momentum waning, and with barely a reaction from the Aécio Neves (PSDB) campaign, President Dilma Rousseff (PT) appears to in the ascendency in the race for the presidency.

Her advantage over Silva in the first round is now clear. Until last week, the two had technically been tied, but according to the latest Datafolha poll, support for Rousseff now stands at 37%, compared to 30% for Silva.

In the second round, the trend is similar. Silva's advantage has fallen to just two points: 46% to 44%, a technical tie. At the end of August, the PSB candidate was ahead by a full ten points (50% to 40%).

Since polling began, Rousseff has been ahead in the simulation of the first round. However, Silva represents a serious threat to her re-election chances in an eventual second round.

In the last 20 days, Silva has been the target of constant attacks, launched at her not only by the Rousseff campaign, but also by Aécio Neves on a daily basis.

The Rousseff campaign has compared her with presidents who failed to complete their mandate, accused her of being in league with the banking sector, and accused her of undervaluing Brazil's vast pre-salt oil reserves.

Neves had been likely to face Rousseff in the second round, until the death of the former PSB candidate, Eduardo Campos, in a plane crash. Neves' campaign has suffered badly as a result of Silva's entry into the race and he has attacked her repeatedly on the television and in interviews.

The simultaneous attacks from Neves and Rousseff did not provoke an abrupt fall in Silva's support. However, the polls suggest that gradually, they are having an effect.

The latest polls raise two questions. Firstly, if these attacks continue, will they continue to eat into Silva's support? Or will they lose their effectiveness over time? Secondly, if Silva's ratings continue to fall, will that allow Neves to fight his way back into the race and eventually overtake her?

Silva's advantage over Neves was as high as 20 points at the beginning of September. Today, the gap remains large, but it has fallen by almost half: 13 points (30% to 17%).

Perhaps the most telling statistic is the increase in voters who reject Silva outright. For the first time, the rating for those who said they would not vote for her under any circumstances is higher than the same figure for Neves (22% to 21%).

The difference falls within the margin of error (two points either way). Nonetheless, it will be of concern for Silva, given that this figure has shot up in the last month whilst Neves' has remained stable. Just a month ago, only 11% of voters rejected Silva.

5340 people were interviewed for the poll, which was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday. The results show Rousseff's advantage across Brazil.

In the northeast, the north and the south, she has a clear advantage. In the central-west region, she is numerically ahead of Silva. In the southeast, she is behind Silva, but still technically tied (the difference falls within the margin of error).

Silva has lost votes across a range of sectors. Her ratings fell four points in the southeast, four points among women, four points among Catholics, five points among residents of medium-sized cities (from 200,000 to 500,000 inhabitants) and six points among voters of 25 to 34 years of age.

The Datafolha survey was commissioned by Folha in partnership with TV Globo.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

Read the article in the original language

Editoria de Arte/Folhapress

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