In an international public opinion poll that took place in 21 countries around the world by Market Analysis for GlobeScan/Pipa, in which over 20,000 people were interviewed, the results were in stark contrast to polls in the United States that show a very tight race.
The international poll found that worldwide over 50% of those interviewed said they wanted the reelection of Obama, while only 9% liked the idea of a Romney administration. The rest did not express any opinion.
In Brazil, around 65% of those polled said they wanted to see Obama reelected. According to Fabián Echegaray, who oversaw the polling in Brazil, what happens is that Brazilians are “…sensitive to questions of violence and crime. War is closely related to this in the minds of Brazilians. They see Obama as someone less aggressive and less inclined to military action – a very different position compared to the Bush administration [that Romney is seen as being a continuation of].”
Echegaray also pointed out that Obama, like former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is seen as someone that people can identify with; he is more a part of the population, than Romney. There is even a physical attraction, says Echegaray: “Most Brazilians see Obama as dark-skinned (“pardo”), something close to what they are, and Romney as a white American.”
With two weeks to go until presidential elections in the US, Brazil’s Foreign Minister, Antonio Patriota, went to Washington for the Global Partnership Dialogue Brazil – United States meeting.
He had conversations with Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the Secretary for Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, and National Security advisor, Thomas Donilon.
Patriota discussed partnerships in the areas of education, science, technology and innovation, as well as social inclusion (poverty reduction) and combating discrimination.
Representatives of both countries say they will continue discussions on the elimination of visas for Brazilians visiting the US. It is believed further negotiations will be necessary on this matter before visas are completely eliminated.
Trade was also on the agenda. In 2011, Brazil exported goods worth US$ 25.8 billion to the US, an increase of 33.7%, compared to 2010. At the moment, the US is the second biggest market for Brazil exports – China is first – buying slightly over 10% of all Brazilian exports.
The US also has the largest amount of foreign direct investments in Brazil, some US$ 104 billion. Over half of that, US$ 55.4 billion, came to Brazil in the last decade (between 2001 and 2011).
In accordance with Brazil’s detailed and rigid election rules, today, October 26, all free political commercials on radio and television, as well as paid ads in newspapers and public debates, for the 100 candidates in 50 municipalities who are running for mayor in this Sunday’s runoff elections will come to an end at exactly midnight.
This Sunday, 31.7 million voters will select mayors and vice mayors (runoff elections take place only in cities with populations of over 200,000 where no one got over 50% of the votes in the first polling that took place on October 7, when there were elections in 5,568 municipalities).
There will be runoff elections in 17 of Brazil’s capital cities, where the main opposition party, PSDB, has the most candidates with eight, followed by the main government party, PT, with six (interestingly, these two parties will face each other only in João Pessoa, Rio Branco and São Paulo; but surrogates will battle throughout the nation; for example, in Manaus, Salvador, Teresina and Vitória).
The PMDB, PSB and PDT each have three candidates. The PSOL has two. The PPS, PCdoB, PP, PSC, PV, DEM, PTC, PSD and PTB have one.
The judges on the Federal Election Court (“ministros do Tribunal Superior Eleitoral – TSE”) have 3,000 cases on their docket, along with 200 appeals, all of them related to the October 7, first round voting in this year’s municipal elections.
Many of these lawsuits and countersuits stem from the recently approved Clean Criminal Record Law (“Ficha Limpa”), which makes candidates with convictions ineligible to run for office. Decisions by the court in these cases may change election results.
Meanwhile, the runoff elections are this weekend, on Sunday, October 28. Spokespersons for the TSE say that the backlog will be dealt with by December when election results are certified.
This week the TSE made two decisions that changed October 7 results in the towns of Mar de Espanha (Minas Gerais) and São José do Vale do Rio Preto (Rio de Janeiro).