Poll Shows Rousseff Expanding Her Lead in Brazil

By Dialogo
October 22, 2010

Dilma doesn’t attack but only has a campaign. My vote is yours
The ruling-party candidate for the presidency of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, expanded her lead over the opposition standardbearer, José Serra, prior to the balloting on 31 October, a poll of voters’ intentions showed on 20 October, confirming Rousseff’s recovery after a decline in her support.

Rousseff was supported by about 51 percent of voters prior to the 31 October election, according to the Ibope poll published in the online edition of the daily Estado de Sao Paulo. Center-right opposition candidate José Serra had about 40 percent support.

The last Ibope poll, on 13 October, showed Rousseff – chosen by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to be his successor – with about 49 percent support, compared to about 43 percent for Serra.

The result is similar to a Vox Populi survey made public earlier this week in which Rousseff had a 12-point lead.

The poll will possibly cheer Lula’s former cabinet chief, who has been struggling since she failed to obtain an absolute majority in the first round of voting on 3 October.

Rousseff’s campaign has been shaken by corruption accusations involving a former colleague and attacks by religious leaders on her earlier position on abortion.

Rousseff, sixty-two years old and a member of Lula’s Workers’ Party, came close to winning an absolute majority on 3 October with about 47 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for Serra, a former governor of Sao Paulo state.

In a poll last week, Rousseff’s lead over Serra fell to 4 percentage points, virtually a statistical tie.

Neither Rousseff nor Serra would change Lula’s economic policies, but Rousseff is in favor of stronger state-owned companies in some industries and a firmer government hand directing economic policy.

The Ibope poll interviewed 3,010 people between 17 and 20 October and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points. If those who did not state a preference are discounted, as is done with blank ballots in the election, Rousseff’s support is about 56 percent, compared to 44 percent for Serra.