Andres Oppenheimer – Miami Herald, 09/03/2014
New polls showing that opposition candidate Marina Silva is likely to win Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections are leading growing numbers of analysts to predict that Latin America’s biggest country may soon shift toward more business-friendly policies, and rock the whole region’s political scene.
Silva, an environmentalist who was born in poverty, comes from a mixed-race family and is often referred to as “Brazil’s Obama,” is tied with left-of-center President Dilma Rousseff in the the polls for the first-round vote on Oct. 5, and would defeat Rousseff by 10 percentage points in a likely second-round vote scheduled for Oct. 26, according to the latest Datafolha poll.
If current voter preference trends continue and Silva wins, it would mark the end of a 12-year hold on power by the leftist Workers’ Party. During that period, Brazil has played a key role in supporting Venezuela and other leftist populist governments in the region.