Brazilian presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff widened her lead to 11 percentage points over opposition candidate Jose Serra, putting her in position to win in the first round of the October election, according to an Ibope poll published by the TV Globo network.
The Workers’ Party candidate had 43% in the poll published Tuesday, more than all her rivals combined. A candidate needs more than 50% of the vote, excluding blank or invalid ballots, to secure victory in the first round.
“A first-round win for Dilma is looking increasingly likely” said Rafael Cortez, a political scientist at Tendencias Consultoria Integrada in Sao Paulo.
From Tuesday, candidates are allotted TV and radio advertising slots. This will increase support for Rousseff among voters who remain undecided, said Cortez.
“These are mainly voters with low income levels, who have difficulty getting political information,” Cortez said. Rousseff “is going to gain ground precisely in these sectors”.
Rousseff, former cabinet chief to President Lula da Silva, rose to 43% from 39% in the previous poll taken Aug. 2-5, Globo said. Support for former Sao Paulo Governor Serra, the Social Democracy Party candidate, fell to 32% from 34%, according to Globo.
Green Party candidate Marina Silva had 8%; minor candidates had less than 1% combined.
The nationwide poll of 2,506 people was taken between Aug. 12 and Aug. 16 and has a margin of error of two percentage points, according to Globo.
In related news the leading opposition candidate for vice-president accused the ruling Workers' Party of having relations with the Colombian FARC guerrillas, sparking controversy during a tranquil debate among vice-presidential hopefuls.
José Indio da Costa, running with José Serra challenged the PT and its presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff to explain the relationship.
The issue is that the PT has relations with the FARC, which are linked to drug-trafficking said Da Costa in a debate organized by the O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper. Dilma has to give explanations.
If the FARC call me to a meeting, I take the federal police and I arrest them, he said. The FARC are not a social movement”.
His comment sparked one of the few feisty replies from Deputy Michel Temer, vice-presidential candidate for the ruling coalition.
To associate Dilma with drug-trafficking is very serious. I don't think that is the case, said Temer, president of the Lower House. There is no relationship between Brazilian government and the FARC, or between Dilma and the drug-trafficking.