Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dilma's Approval Drops 8 Points….Sort Of

Folha has just published a poll with new data on public opinion of Dilma's government, as well as the state of the Brazilian economy. Compared to a survey done in March, there has been an 8 point decline (from 65% to 57%) in those who rank Dilma's government as "good (bom)" or "excellent (ótimo)." However, the number who assign her a ranking of "OK" (my translation for "regular") rose 6 points, from 27% to 33%. 

Meanwhile, those ranking her as "bad/worst (ruim/péssimo)" rose only 2 points, from 7% to 9%. So the total percentage of those who approve of Dilma's government remains quite high, at 90% (1% have no opinion). The real change is in the level of enthusiasm for her government. 

Of greater to concern to Dilma are the poll results dealing with the economy. 

In March, 51% believed that the economy would improve, but that number has dropped to 39%. There has been an 8 point increase in the percentage who believe the economy will get worse, from 11% to 19%. The number who think it will remain the same is fairly stable, rising from 34% in March to 38% in the latest survey.

Primary causes for economic concern are inflation and unemployment, with rising numbers expressing concerns about both of these problems. Attitudes about unemployment are even more pessimistic than those about inflation, with only 27% believing that unemployment will drop, compared to 41% who believed it would decline in March.

These results come on the heels of a series of negative reports and analyses about Brazil's economy, and specifically, the role that Dilma's government has taken in handling the economy. 

During the past several weeks, Dilma has made some shifts in her economic policies, in the hope that they can reverse some of the negative trends. Even her critics acknowledge that she is more of a pragmatist than an ideologue, and it will be interesting to see if the recent changes bring about positive results.

What does all of this mean as far as the 2014 Presidential election? So far, in spite of the shift in the approval ratings, not much. According to another item in Folha, Dilma continues to be the favorite, with 51% of likely voters expressing support for her. 

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