Brazilian President Is Favorite of Voters, But She Could Lose in a Runoff

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff The first poll conducted after the death of presidential candidate Eduardo Campos (PSB) shows that President Dilma Rousseff (PT) has 36% of voting intentions. Conducted by the Datafolha Institute in August 14-15 with 2,843 voters in 176 towns and cities across Brazil, the survey was published on August 18.

In a scenario where Campos’s former running mate Marina Silva would replace him as the main candidate, Silva has 21% of the vote, followed by Aécio Neves (PSDB), with 20%. In this simulation, Silva and Neves appear virtually tied in second place and should compete to secure an appearance in the runoffs. Among the eight remaining candidates, three had scores between 3% and 1%, and the other five did not score.

In the simulation with Silva as a candidate to replace Campos, the figures for blank or spoiled ballots fell by 5 percentage points, accounting for 8% of respondents from a previous 13%. A similar decline was seen with indecisive voters, which decreased from 14% to 9% of respondents.

DataFolha has also heard voters in a scenario with no replacements for Campos. In this simulation, Rousseff would have 41% of votes, whereas Neves would figure with 25%. Blank and spoiled votes would total 13%, and 12% of respondents did not know who they would vote for.

In an open-ended survey where respondents were not prompted with any candidate names to choose from, Rousseff’s name was brought up by 24% of voters, Neves was mentioned by 11% of respondents as their preferred candidate, and 5% said they would vote for Silva. In the previous poll, Rousseff had been the choice of 22% of voters, as against 9% going for Neves.

In the previous survey released by Datafolha in July, when Campos was alive and running under PSB, Rousseff had had 36% of voting intentions, compared to 20% for Neves, and 8% for Campos. Blank and spoiled votes had totaled 13%, and indecisive voters accounted for 14%.

Radio and TV

Electioneering communications has beeb aired on radio and television since August 19 until October 2, three days before the first round voting for the 2014 General Elections. The advertising slot was established under the Electoral Law to allow candidates running for office as state deputies, federal deputies, senators, state governors, and the president to show their proposals to voters.

Broadcast times were established by the Electoral Law, running daily (except Sundays). Both public and private broadcasters are required to air the campaign ads free of charge. On the radio, broadcasts take place twice a day from 7:00 to 7:50 am and from 12:00 to 12:50 pm. On TV, broadcast times run from 1:00 to 1:50 pm and from 8:30 to 9:20 pm.

The time slots allowed for each coalition were based on the parties’ number of seats in the Chamber of Deputies. Under the “Com a Força do Povo” coalition (which could be loosely translated as “Powered by People”), the ruling president, Dilma Rousseff (PT) will have 11 minutes and 24 seconds each time.

“Muda Brazil” (“Change for Brazil”), which endorses Aécio Neves (PSDB), was given four minutes and 35 seconds. “Unidos pelo Brasil” (“United for Brazil”), which was set up to support recently deceased Eduardo Campos (PSB) will have two minutes and three seconds to show their proposals. The remainder of air time on radio and TV was split among the other eight candidates.

Marina Silva

Former Environment Minister Marina Silva will head the ticket running under the “United for Brazil” coalition. She is replacing the former governor of Pernambuco, Eduardo Campos, of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), following his death in air crash on August 13.

Silva is the founder of the Sustainability Network (REDE), which has not yet succeeded in raising the minimum required level of support to be registered as a political party.

Deputy Roberto Freire, chairman of the Popular Socialist Party (PPS), said that his party was the first in the coalition to recommend Silva as a replacement for Campos.

“Marina Silva can bring the coalition parties closer together,” he explained.

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