Brazilian poll shows Rousseff gaining momentum as election nears

October 20, 2014

Walter Brandimarte – Reuters, 10/20/2014

President Dilma Rousseff gained steam but remained locked in a dead heat for votes with challenger Aecio Neves ahead of Brazil’s Oct. 26 presidential runoff, an opinion poll showed on Monday.

Rousseff had 45.5 percent of voter support versus 44.5 percent for Neves, according to the survey by polling firm MDA, its first since the election’s first-round vote on Oct. 5. The difference between the two is statistically insignificant because it is within the poll’s margin of error.

Excluding undecided voters, spoiled and blank survey responses, Rousseff has 50.5 percent against 49.5 percent for Rousseff.

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Economic Affairs Dominate Brazil’s Latest Presidential Debate

October 20, 2014

TeleSUR, 10/20/2014

Candidates Dilma Rousseff and Aecio Neves held their third televised presidential debate late on Sunday, a week before the second round run off election. Both candidates avoided personal attacks and addressed key issues on the economy.

​One week before Brazil’s presidential election run-off, current President and candidate Dilma Rousseff held a televised debate with her rival right-wing candidate Aecio Neves, late on Sunday. Both candidates centred the discussion on inflation, unemployment, and the economy in general.

Rousseff attacked Neves for his plans to appoint, a former president of the Central Bank, Arminio Fraga, as Finance Minister. Fraga headed the Central Bank the last time Neve’s Social Democratic Party was last in power, headed by Fernando Cardoso. Dilma reminded Neves that Fraga had been partly responsible for the high inflation levels during that government.

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Brazil’s Rousseff on the offensive a week from runoff vote

October 20, 2014

Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 10/19/2014

Opposition candidate Aecio Neves is heading into the final week of Brazil’s presidential race with a razor-thin lead in polls, but it’s the incumbent Dilma Rousseff who appears to be gaining momentum in the homestretch.

After a sudden surge before and after the first-round vote on Oct. 5, Neves is struggling to retain the momentum that gave him a slight advantage in recent polling.

He leads Rousseff by 2 percentage points in the most closely watched opinion polls, within their margin of error. Recent surveys show that support may have peaked for Neves, an investor favorite, and his disapproval numbers are rising amid a barrage of attacks by the Rousseff campaign.

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Key elections to shape Latin America’s future

October 20, 2014

Buenos Aires Herald, 10/20/2014

Brazilians will go as one to the polls this Sunday to select the nation’s next leader, where they will be asked to choose between President Dilma Rousseff and challenger Aécio Neves — but that’s where the unity will end, say experts, with the country split in two.

Neves, of the opposition Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), currently has a two-percentage-point lead over Rousseff, from the ruling Workers’ Party (PT), but that falls within most polls’ margin of error, effectively putting the candidates neck-and-neck. Recent surveys however show that support may have peaked for Neves, the markets’ favourite, and his disapproval numbers are rising amid a barrage of attacks from the Rousseff campaign.

The number of Brazilians who say they would never vote for Neves rose four percentage points this week to 38 percent, according to a survey by the Datafolha polling firm, while Rousseff’s rejection rate came down one point to 42 percent, suggesting the incumbent is gaining momentum ahead of election day. But with most voters having already made up their mind, the two are now focusing their fight on the support of two key demographics — the millions of Brazilian who were lifted from poverty during 12 years of PT rule and undecided female voters.

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Conservatives Gaining Force in Brazil Congress

October 20, 2014

AP – ABC News, 10/18/2014

With its Carnival reputation and skin-baring beach life, Brazil may look like a liberal bastion. But unease over a worsening economy and deteriorating public safety, plus a backlash against recent gay-rights gains, are propelling a conservative rise that will shape the next administration, regardless of who wins the presidency.

The general election held earlier this month saw a greater share of Brazil’s National Congress seats go to various conservative caucuses, which now control nearly 60 percent of the 513 seats in the lower house. They include evangelical lawmakers who oppose gay marriage or access to abortion; the “ruralistas” whose pro-agriculture positions counter environmentalists and indigenous groups; and a law-and-order faction that demands a crackdown on crime.

Ahead of the presidential runoff Oct. 26, there’s no doubt such conservatives are giving greater support to center-right challenger Aecio Neves over left-leaning President Dilma Rousseff. But it’s also clear that neither presidential candidate is as socially conservative as the increasingly powerful elements of Congress.

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Brazil’s Rousseff Admits There Was Wrongdoing at Petrobras

October 20, 2014

Paulo Trevisani – The Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2014

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said Saturday that there was embezzlement at government-controlled oil producer Petróleo Brasileiro SA .

The company, known as Petrobras, has been at the center of a corruption scandal allegedly involving people connected to Mr. Rousseff’s Workers Party, or PT.

“I will do all I can to reimburse the country,” Ms. Rousseff said during a news conference at the presidential residence late in the afternoon. “There was” deviation of public money, she said according to a transcript of the interview published on her official campaign website.

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